Scarcity of portable water

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

As the World Water Day is celebrated all over on March 22, in Kashmir this day comes with a grave reminder of shrinking water bodies and melting glaciers. While these are climate related issues, the ground reality is that the government too has not been able to ensure portable water to all the citizenry. Though the Union Government has launched a massive scheme of Har Ghar Nal ensuring that drinking water is available to all household in the country and the said scheme is being run here in Jammu and Kashmir too, but fact of the matter is that every household may have got the water connection but does these taps pour out water? 

Several villages in Kashmir are facing acute water crisis. These villages have water connections available but most of the times these taps run dry and women folk has to collect water from local streams. It goes without saying that the said water is not safe to drink and thus peoples’ lives are put to grave risk.

Jal Jeevan Mission has been tasked with ensuring drinking water to the populace but it has not been able to do so efficiently. Schemes are sanctioned, tenders are allotted but the works are rarely completed. In district Baramulla’s Kunzar area, a filtration plant was to come up at Reram. Crores have been spent on this plant on which work is going on from past four years but the project is no where near completion. Reason being, it needs just rupees 12 lakh more and the concerned department is not sanctioning the same. Result, the people of surrounding areas are not getting portable water.

It is high time that the government here takes the issue of portable water seriously and pulls those responsible for implementation of various schemes. It is the duty of the government to ensure that every citizen has access to safe drinking water and those responsible for this job should be made accountable.

 In Kashmir the glaciers serve as vital water sources, and their diminishing volume poses a challenge to water availability. Due to global warming, the water bodies here are shrinking and glaciers melting on an alarming speed. Besides agriculture is a major consumer of water in Kashmir and the rice cultivation, covering around 2.9 lakh hectares, requires a significant volume of water. However, it is the rule that priority should always be to ensure drinking water. Yes, irrigation too is important but not as important as drinking water.

The UT administration should try to find out which are the areas where people face scarcity of water. Try to understand the reasons behind it and thus devise strategy to resolve the issues. Different filtration plants, which once completed could ensure safe drinking water to thousands of people, are yet to be completed. The administration should pull its socks and ensure that all the projects are completed without any further delay. Water is life and no government can deny a right to life to its citizens. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *