Govt sends team to look into supply of unsafe water to Bijbehara

Suhail Bhat

Srinagar, Sept 22: The Executive Engineer Public Health Engineering in Bijbehara,  Ashish Sharma, today said that  a team of officials has been sent to the area to assess the situation of alleged unsafe drinking water being supplied to the area and find a solution.
Residents of Bijbehara in the Anantnag district of South Kashmir accused the Jal Shakti Department of supply unsafe drinking water to the area.
The water in the town, according to the residents, has been unsafe for human consumption for a long time without the Public Health Engineering (PHE) department making any effort to remedy the situation. “The officials have received our numerous complaints about the problem, but instead of taking action, they are letting us suffer,” locals said.
Bijbehara Town was supposed to receive drinking water from the much-talked-about Bamzoo Water Supply Scheme in the Anantnag neighborhood of Mattan a few years ago. Although the project is complete and operational, not much progress has been made on that suggestion.
“We continue to receive our water from a nearby water filtration facility, even though it stopped purifying water decades ago. All we receive in the name of drinking water is muck and silt,” the locals alleged.
They said that before the water could be considered safe for human consumption, many filtering techniques had to be used at home. The locals said that because of the poor quality of the water in Bijbehara, water purifiers break down every two months, in contrast to other regions of Kashmir where they need to be serviced annually.
“Water-borne illnesses are also widespread in the community, primarily affecting the young and old. The residents lament that the administration has shown the least interest in their situation,” locals said.
Additionally, he added, they do not have access to streams or springs as a backup water source, “All we have is what we get from the PHE department,” he said.