Shopian, Jul 24: The residents of Vehil area of South Kashmir’s Shopian district on Saturday staged a protest against Jal Shakti department for failing in providing potable water in the area.
Amid soaring temperature, the residents, including children and women, blocked main Shopian-Kulgam road for hours and demanded potable water in the village.
The protestors said that the Katipora area of Vehil which comprises over 150 households is facing a drinking water shortage but there is none to take care of it.
“Amid soaring heat, we are forced to walk to far off places to fetch drinking water. We don’t even have water to wash our clothes and utensils,” they said.
Locals accused the authorities of ignoring their plights from the last several years.
“We have been moving from pillar to post since the last several years to get the issue redressed but on ground nothing has been done as of now,” said a protestor.
“We were assured by political leaders, administrators and higher up several times that we will get piped potable water supply soon but their assurances on ground have proved a hoax,” the protesters said.
Locals said that by using contaminated water, several people from the area have got affected and there is a threat of waterborne diseases outbreak.
They said that despite knowing our sufferings, authorities are giving deaf ears to our repeated pleas.
Protest continued for hours and was later called off after some officials including AEE and JE of the Jal Shakti department visited the spot and pacified them by assuring that the issue will be redressed soon.
Meanwhile, Executive Engineer Irfan ul Islam, acknowledged that the area is facing shortage of drinking water.
He said that temporary arrangements for providing water to the area through tankers have been made.
“The scheme under Jal Jeevan Mission for the area has been already approved, however, we are waiting to get the tenders approved to start work,” Islam said. (KNO)