KATHUA, June 14: Irate villagers from at least three Panchayats held protest demonstration against PHE authorities for drinking water crisis and staged dharna on Jammu-Dyala Chak-Billawar road at Dinga Amb, disrupting movement of traffic for at least four hours today.
A large number of people from Dinga Amb Panchayat and adjoining areas came out on main Jammu-Billawar road at around 6.15 am and raised barricades near Dinga Amb bus stand. The villagers led by Sarpanch Kuldeep Gupta and other Panchayat members then sat on dharna on the road. A large number of children and women also joined later.
The vehicular traffic on this road came to halt. A large number of vehicles got stranded on either side of the road as many Srinagar bound trucks from Delhi and opposite side, also use this route being short. They started shouting slogans against the PHE authorities Kathua, Chief Engineer Jammu and PHE Minister Taj Mohi-ud-Din.
Village Sarpanch alleged that motor at the pumping station, Tarnah near Dinga Amb went out of order few days back and was not repaired despite request to the concerned officers. He said it is not once or twice, in last eight months, this motor got damaged for more than 30 times. How, it is happening and who is responsible for it, senior PHE officers never bothered. Mr Gupta said due to negligence on the part of field staff, who start the motor and then leave station, was the cause behind this problem. The motor goes on for hours together un-attended, resulting into damages. He demanded that entire field staff including JE be shifted immediately and inquiry be conduct into the matter. He said from this water source nearly 8000 people from five Panchayat Halqas including Dinga Amb, Mangloor and Parngoli are getting water. The people were badly suffering for want of water during these intense summer days.
Later, SHO Hiranagar Karamjit Singh and Tehsildar Rajiv Magotra reached the spot. The agitating public refused to lift dharna. They demanded that senior PHE officials should come to explain position. Later, on the intervention of DC Kathua, people lifted dharna at around 10 am. The DC assured inquiry and action against negligent staff. She said the alternate arrangement will also be made for the public during these hot summer days.