De-siltation work started, fencing not needed: Officials
The inhabitants of Ijara Village of Boniyar tehsil in north Kashmir’s Baramulla expressed resentment against Jal Shakti Department (JSD) for failing to upgrade water filtration plants in the area, leaving them high and dry.
As per the villagers, they have been facing the problems from the past several years. They accused JSD of supplying contaminated water and failing to clear silt from filtration plant champers.
Fayaz Ahmad, a local told Rising Kashmir that from the past several years, the villagers are facing problems as the JSD officials have ignored to upgrade filtration plant.
“Villagers have never got filtered water and neither any necessary measures were taken by the department. In the 2016 year, over a dozen villagers were infected by water-borne diseases,” he said.
As per him, no JSD official or concerned AEE has ever visited the filtration plant nor has anyone taken any cognizance of our matter.
“Few days ago, after villagers raised the issue, the department started cleaning the filtration chambers but the work is going on a snail’s pace,” he added.
The villagers also accused the department of failing to upgrade the structure from the past 8 years.
As per them, 3 feet mud was accumulated in these chambers and also few dead animals were found as the chambers are not fenced nor covered.
Abdul Khaliq Bhat, who is Sarpanch of the village, alleged that both JSD officials and concerned contractors are hands in glue with each other.
“On the name of the filtration plant, JSD department officials have just constructed a pit and it was divided into two chambers. Till date, nothing has been done on it,” he said.
Bhat said despite repeated pleas to concerned officials, things have remained unchanged so far. “The village has around 500 households and they are suffering as JSD is supplying contaminated water to the consumers,” he said.
“Even tender for up-gradation of filtration was approved by the department but the concerned contactor failed to start work,” Bhat said.
“We raised this issue everywhere but nobody was ready to listen to our pleas,” Bhat said.
The villagers have appealed Chief Engineer JSD Kashmir and Executive Engineer Kupwara to look into the issue so that they can get a sigh of relief.
Assistant Executive Engineer, Boniyar Nasir Wani told Rising Kashmir that they have started de-siltation work in the filtration chambers.
About up-gradation of plant, he said, “the scheme has been approved 8 years and he has no knowledge that why it was left incomplete.”
“After villagers reported the issue, we have started clearance operation as its base was filled with sand and mud. We would initiate it earlier but due to COVID-19 restrictions the work was delayed,” he said.
About fencing of the plant, Wani said there are fewer chances for any animal to fall into the chamber as its height is 12 feet high.
“We cannot close completely from the upper side, as it should be exposed to atmospheric temperate, but we would put iron wire mesh so that no one will fell into it,” he said.
As per Wani, till they would clean the filtration chambers, the villagers would get portable water through tankers each day.