Malshai Bagh canal breach:Two lakh people suffer as taps run dry in Srinagar parts

Bisma Bhat

Srinagar, Dec 23: For the last three weeks, more than two lakh people are without water supply as government has failed to fix the breach in Malshai Bagh canal in Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.

Malshai Bagh canal, which supplies water to three treatment plants– Rangil, Shuhama and Alasteng — caters to over two lakh population in the Srinagar outskirts. The water canal developed breach in the first week of December. Three weeks on, breach is yet to be fixed.

The areas facing water shortage include Elahi Bagh, Gulab Bagh, Soura, Anchar, Nowshera, Lal Bazar, Alasteng, Shuhama, Habak, Zukra, Batpora, Hazratbal, Kashmir University, National Institute of Technology (NIT), Saderbal, Saida Kadal and others.

Abdul Rashid, a 45 year old resident of Habak, said their taps are running dry, but nobody in the government seems bothered. “We have purchased mineral water canes from market for drinking purposes. The water tankers provided by the government are not sufficient,” he said.

An official in Kashmir University said the varsity has run out of the water supply. “We are pumping water from bore wells but it is not feasible for drinking. We have even developed rashes on our hands,” he said

Chief Engineer, Irrigation and Flood Control Department, MM Shahnawaz said there is a major breach in the Malshai Bagh canal. “The restoration of the canal will take at least two months,” he said

He said Public Health Engineering (PHE) department is making alternate arrangements to provide water supply to the general public. “They have placed new water pipes adjoining to the canal to bypass breach portion. Water supply is being made available by PHE,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner, Ganderbal, Hashmat Ali Khan said there is no major problem in his district. However, he said work on Malshai Bagh canal is going on. “We are trying to restore it as soon as possible,” he added. 

Repeated attempts to contact Chief Engineer, PHE, Abdul Wahid did not yield any result as he did not take the calls.

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