Water crisis creates uproar in Lower House

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Srinagar: Lower House on Monday witnessed uproar over drinking water crisis in the state, as both Opposition and some ruling party legislators cornered the PDP-BJP government over the issue.

Legislators from both ruling and opposition parties said that their constituencies are grappling with drinking water shortage.

When the proceedings of Question Hour began today when PDP MLA from Sonawar, Muhammad Ahsraf Mir, said that people in his constituency are “crying” for drinking water.

“People in my constituency are facing immense problems because of water scarcity. They have been continuously complaining about it, but the government is not addressing the issue,” Mir said. 

Mir said that the officials in PHE are giving wrong information to the government and especially to the minister concerned about availability of water and water supply schemes.

“Strict action should be taken against these officers for misleading the minister and the government,” he said, adding, “The information provided about water supply schemes and pipeline is totally baseless. The officers have said that Rs. 10 lakh have been spent for pipes, but only less than Rs. 1 lakh has been spent so far,” he said.

While replying to the legislator, Minister for Rural Development Abdul Haq Khan assured that action will be taken against the “erring” officials.

“If officials have given wrong information or distributed funds unevenly, government will take action against them,” Khan said, adding, “We will see to it.”

To this Mir retorted that what steps will you take in 24 hours to provide water to the people.

Mir said that three water supply schemes have been sanctioned for Ganderbal district, but not a single one for Sonwar Assembly segment.

The legislator was joined by PDP MLAs, Abdul Majeed Paddar (Noorabad), , Mushtaq Ahmad Shah (Tral), Yawar Mir (Rafiabad), Noor Muhammad Sheikh (Batamaloo).

Opposition members, including NC MLAs, Ishfaq Jabbar (Ganderbal), Javaid Rana (Mendhar), Congress MLA from Banihal, Vikar Rasool.

“12 water supply schemes have been constructed in Noorabad constituency, but only six are functional after 2014 floods. People in my constituency are grappling with water crisis,” PDP MLA Paddar said.

“I want government to assure me when work will begin on these defunct water supply schemes,” he said.

Replying to Paddar, Minister of State for PHE, Farooq Ahmad Andrabi, said that pipes will be allotted for restoring the water supply schemes in the area.

“Several villages in Tral where majority of people depend on agriculture are facing immense problems. Kaigam and other adjacent areas are facing immense water scarcity to irrigate their fields. The paddy fields have already dried up there,” Shah said.

Rana interrupted Shah and said that his constituency is also facing similar problems, resulting in loss to the agriculture crops.

“80 percent springs in my constituency have dried up due to dry weather. People are crying for water. I appeal the government to take swift steps and protect the farmers from suffering crop losses,” the NC MLA said.

The minister assured the legislators that steps will be taken to mitigate the problems faced by the people.

Congress MLA, Rasool, said that the government has been giving assurances only in the last 20 days.

“We are being giving assurances only in the last 20 days. But no action or steps are taken,” he said. (KNS)

 

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