40% In J&K Without Safe Drinking Water

SRINAGAR: Admitting that forty per cent population of the state is yet to have access to potable drinking water, Irrigation, Flood Control and PHE Minister, Sham Lal Sharma today directed officers and engineers prioritize redressing people’s problems by improving work culture in the respective units.

“You should avoid repeating past activities and should concentrate on the work culture.

I warn you not to visit civil secretariat but perform your respective duties in effective manner. It is shameful to have 40% population of our state without quality water resulting in spread of various diseases”, said Sharma while addressing the executive engineers in a meeting held at Banquet Hall Srinagar on Thursday.

He said 70% diseases in the State are a result of non-availability of potable water to people. “Providing quality drinking water is the responsibility of PHE Engineers and they should perform it under good will and with sense of responsibility. It is shameful if in 21st century any citizen is denied supply of quality drinking water”, said PHE Minister.

He lambasted officials saying that crores of rupees provided by centre through various schemes for quality water are not being utilized in a proper manner. “Lots of good and bad has been done in past. I’ll not go through what you (Engineers) have done in past but want to make it clear that no negligence and laziness will be tolerated. Consumers are paying fee and it is our moral duty to provide them quality water”.

Sharma warned engineers against visiting the civil secretariat as a matter of habit rather than need. “You should be in the field to perform duties. No political or any other recommendation will be accepted for transfers. Good performers will be awarded and bad will be dealt with strictly”.

He warned the engineers not to compel the Ministry for taking tough stand against them. “I can use a third party to check your performances but it is better to perform honestly and sincerely before I open your accounts to make you accountable”, said Sharma to engineers.

“Forty per cent leakage occurs due to bad pipes and I’ve directed authorities to correct it shortly. I also told them that no salary will be credited to those who do not perform duties”, Sharma said on the sidelines of the meeting.

When asked what measures his ministry will take for proper utilization of funds from the centre, he said, “I’ve directed the authorities that no fund from Government of India should stay for more than 12 days in the civil secretariat”. He said that he has told engineers that he (Sharma) would personally check and verify records for better transparency.

“I believe and have directed authorities that power point presentation is not enough but they (Engineers) should go at ground and read the situation”, informed Sharma. With inputs from KNS

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