Anantnag , Apr 28: Residents of Arwani Village in south Kashmir's Anantnag district have expressed resentment towards the Jal Shakti Department for failing to provide potable water facility to the village.
Arwani village comprises around 1400 households, out of which 1000 households sans basic water facility.
A local resident Malik Tawseef told Rising Kashmir that they have never seen a proper water supply.
He said that locals are pressed to fetch water from tube wells, which is highly contaminated with iron, and the River Vishaw, which has a high concentration of fecal matter.
"The people have no choice but to drink the contaminated water, which has caused various health problems," he said.
He said that the poor water quality has led to various health problems among the residents.
Another resident Fayaz Ah said that they have repeatedly requested higher authorities to resolve the issue on a war footing basis but they turned deaf ear to their pleas, leaving the villagers in a dire situation.
He said that villagers are forced to travel miles in private cars to bring potable water, which is a costly affair.
Another resident Malik Owais said that his brother has kept a can for potable water in his car, and wherever he goes, he brings back drinking water for the family.
He said that villagers travel on motorcycles and other vehicles to fetch potable water for their families.
Owais said that this is not a sustainable solution and cannot be relied upon in the long run.
"We have no water for other household necessities," he said
He said that the villagers have not benefited under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM).
"It is unfortunate that we are lacking basic water facility in 21st century," Owais said
A local student Aamir Ah said that in order to fill this gap, they have requested higher authorities for dispatching water tankers in the area to meet the drinking water necessities to the residents but they failed to provide.
"Providing potable water is a basic human right, and the government needs to take immediate action to ensure that the residents of Arwani Village have access to drinking water," he said
Assistant Executive Engineer (AEE) Bijbehara Mrs Nayeema told Rising Kashmir that the issue will be resolved under the JJM project this year.
However she acknowledged that the water requirements for the village were not being met.
She said that a filtration plant is already allotted to the village which will be soon handed over to contractors for execution.