Srinagar, Mar 10: Despite large number of new water supply schemes started by the incumbent government to overcome problem of drinking water, a population of only 35 percent get water from treated sources in the state.
According to the official data, around 65 percent population in Jammu and Kashmir having access to tap water of which 34.7 percent get water from treated sources and 29.2 percent from untreated sources.6.5 percent people use well water of which 1.9 percent are uncovered wells and 4.7 are uncovered wells, sources quoting official figures.
The rest population gets unfiltered water from springs, lakes, canals and other water bodies.
Medical experts are of the opinion that the percentage of people in J&K suffering from various abdominal disorders, including liver and kidney ailments are the result of consumption of untreated water. “Most of water borne disease are common in the state. These could be controlled only when we get water from treated sources,” a doctor at SMHS hospital wished anonymity told KNS.
There has been sharp increase in water borne diseases for the past several years which according to health experts in their reports had mentioned that these diseases had emerged due to supplying of “contamination and unfiltered” water to the people.
A PHE official wishing anonymity told KNS, “The rickety apparatus for water testing, and poor state of existing water supply schemes was resulting in poor quality of drinking water in Kashmir.”
He added that in many areas of Kashmir, especially the rural ones, water was supplied through pumping stations that neither had a filtration plant, nor a reservoir. “The water is just lifted and pumped, without any treatment. That (absence of reservoir and filtration plant) has a huge bearing on the water quality,” he said.
According to the guidelines, it is mandatory that all the drinking water sources have to be tested once in a year for chemical contamination and twice for bacteriological contamination. Besides the proper filtration of water has to be a continuous process.
However, people complain that unfiltered and muddy tap water was being supplied to them without any filtration being done. In J&K thousands of water supply schemes were taken up for execution over the years, majority of them have not been completed thus forcing people to consume water from the contaminated sources.
“These schemes could not be completed due to non-availability of funds,” an official of public health engineering department said.
In some areas, water is being supplied through water tanks while in some areas people fetch water from streams and rivers without being filtered.
While there are around 100 water testing laboratories, sources said PHE department has failed to monitor the water quality with “unfiltered and muddy” tap water being supplied to the people.
It is to mention here that the government had sought “one time funding” for completion of around 1600 water supply schemes in the state.
Official sources said that around 1,900 water supply schemes have been started by the successive governments in the six eight years in the state.
At least 173 were allotted for Baramulla, Anantnag 156, Budgam 111, Kupwara 109, Kulgam 101, Shopian 90, Srinagar 98, Bandipora 89, and Ganderbal 73.
Similarly, 294 schemes were sanctioned for Jammu district, 168 for Rajouri, Poonch 89, Kishtwar 99, Kathua and Samba 72 each. While for Leh and Kargil distrcts of Ladakh region, 149 schemes were allotted. (KNS)