By MINZAH MEHRAJ
Srinagar: Water crisis in the city is likely to end next month as the restoration work on Malshahi Bagh canal is nearing completion.
The canal had developed a breach due to sloughing in December last year. Later Irrigation and Flood Control Department took up restoration work, but it was halted due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdown in March.
Chief Engineer of the Irrigation and Flood Control Department Iftikhar Kakroo told The Kashmir Monitor that the restoration work is going on war footing and it is expected to be completed by the end of October.
“The work is going on at a very fast pace. We’re expecting the work to be completed by the end of October,” he said.
Last week, Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal Shafqat Iqbal said work on the Sindh Extension Canal breach at Malshahi Bagh is in progress. “Expected to be completed by the end of October 2020,” he tweeted.
Malshahi Bagh canal, which is the main source of water to various treatment plants including Rangil, Alesteng, Hadoora, Shuhama, and Bakoora, caters to over two lakh population on the Srinagar outskirts.
Many areas including Elahi Bagh, Gulab Bagh, Soura, Anchar, Nowshera, Lal Bazar, Alasteng, Shuhama, Habak, Zukra, Batpora, Hazratbal, Kashmir University, National Institute of Technology (NIT), Saderbal and Saida Kadal have been facing water scarcity since December.
“Scarcity of water is giving us sleepless nights. We’ve to get up in the night for storing water”, said Imran Khan, a resident of Soura.
Officials said Public Health Engineer Department (PHE) had bypassed the breach portion using pipes, but the water flow was not good enough to cater to a huge population.
“We have laid four pipes to bypass the breach. However, those are not able to supply sufficient water,” said an official.
PHE had also pressed tankers into service to supply water, but it too did not serve the purpose. Such has been the crisis that several families had to buy mineral water bottles to ensure safe drinking water.
“We have to wait for water tankers for hours. This is time-consuming. We at times end up buying mineral water bottles”, said Khan.