Article courtesy by Greaterkashmir.com
Tangmarg: Unabated supply of contaminated drinking water by the Public Health Engineering (PHE) department is taking a heavy toll on the health of inhabitants of many villages here.
Experts state that heavy rains wash away pollutants and dead livestock into the Ferozpora Nallah—the lone source of water supply to Tangmarg and its adjoining areas. However in absence of proper filtration the contaminated water is supplied to most of the villages here causing water borne infection among the inhabitants.
“Despite presence of multiple water filtration plants and reservoirs in the area, water is being supplied directly to many schemes from the stream and its irrigation canals,” the locals said.
The locals accuse the PHE Department of risking their lives by supplying contaminated water.
“We pay water fees for getting potable drinking water. However due to negligence of the PHE authorities we are forced to drink contaminated water which has affected our health and caused many water-borne diseases,” they said.
Executive Engineer, PHE Tangmarg Division Lateef Ahmad Malik claimed that water is supplied after proper filtration in most of the water supply schemes including Gulmarg, Baba Reshi, Ferozpora, Cheke Ferozpora, Hardeshoora and Aboora.
“We ensure proper water filtration with Slow Sand Filtration Method and bleaching powder in filtration plants and service reservoirs. We monitor the prescribed chlorination content in the water, however, at times epidemic due to water borne diseases takes place by climatic reasons” Malik said.
He said the department would soon use Rapid Filtration Methods to filter the water.
However, residents of some villages refute the claims of the PHE that proper filtration was done in all water schemes.
“In many cases like the Gonipora Water Supply Scheme, water pipes have been directly immersed into the Ferozpora Nallah and its streams and there is no question of any filtration, bleaching or chlorination because even service reservoirs do not exist there,” they said.
BSP corporators on fast as water crisis boils.
NAGPUR: On November 17 last year, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) handed over city’s water supply to Orange City Water Pvt Ltd (OCWL) claiming it would to solve the water crisis. But regular complaints from corporators themselves has raised doubts over that move. On Friday, 12 corporators from Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) staged a hunger strike at NMC head office complaining of severe water crisis in their areas since last 6 months. Earlier, Congress corporators had launched a series of agitations and even a few corporators from ruling party raised the issue in the meeting of general body.
Leader of ruling party Praveen Datke blamed executive director of Nagpur Environmental Services Ltd (NESL) Shashikant Hastak for the problems. “Corporators from all parties are complaining about Hastak’s poor administration and resulting water crisis. Still, municipal commissioner Shyam Wardhane is not taking any action or replacing Hastak with a responsible officer. Private operator is also responsible but you can’t blame a servant if the master is not proper. BSP corporators were complaining since long about water crisis. Civic chief and Hastak should have met them and gone to their wards for solving the problem. It did not happen resulting into an agitation,” he said.
Even chairman of water works committee Sudhakar Kohle visited the agitating corporators and supported their agitation. Mayor Anil Sole too paid visit and assured to look into the matter. BSP group leader Murlidhar Meshram and corporator Kishor Gajbhiye led the agitation. Chairman of Ashi Nagar zone Abhishek Shambarkar and other corporators participated in the day-long hunger strike.
“Areas coming in myward (Vishwakarma Nagar-Chandramani Nagar), South Nagpur, and adjoining areas are not getting regular water for the last six months. The citizens are left with no option to collect drinking water from 3-4 foot deep holes due to lack of pressure in the water. Major cause of the problem is less water supply to Wanjari Nagar overhead water tank. We brought up the issue time and again with Hastak and officials of private operator. Finally we brought the issue to the notice of Wardhane on October 19 who assured to solve the problems within two days. Nothing happened, we took the hunger strike route,” he said.
Additional municipal commissioner Hemant Pawar met the agitating corporators who demanded the civic chief to come and held discussion. Later, the officials of water works department and OCWL met Gajbhiye and others. The BSP corporators gave an ultimatum to the NMC and threatened to break earthen pots at municipal commissioner’s office on November 8 if the crisis was not resolved.
The NESL has failed to ensure smooth functioning of the water works by monitoring the works of private operator. Instead, officials of NESL, especially Hastak, have only been directed the citizens and corporators towards OCWL to have their problems solved. This has made the problems worse resulting in series of agitations for the last many months.