Sopore, Nov 7: Kashmir recently experienced a shortage of rainfall, leading to hot and humid conditions, leading to the persistent water scarcity crisis in many areas across the valley including the Sopore area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
The officials here said that the reduced rainfall has resulted in a deficit in water supply. They said the areas under the water supply scheme Shrakwara in Kreeri, located about 15 kilometres from Sopore town, are currently facing severe water shortages. However, officials are optimistic about the resolution of the crisis with the implementation of the AMRUT-2 scheme.
A senior official from the Jal Shakti Department said that the town’s water scarcity issue would soon be resolved through the AMRUT-2 scheme. “The town, which currently faces a deficit of 50 lakh litres of water supply according to demand, is being managed by the department amidst these challenges,” said Mudasir Ahmed, Assistant Executive Engineer, Jal Shakti Department, Division Sopore.
He said that for the first time, the River Jhelum is being utilised to construct at least four Over Head Tanks (OHTs) to address the water shortage. Exploring the Jhelum earlier could have prevented the crisis entirely, he said, adding that the problems will be resolved once the AMRUT-2 scheme is implemented.
Residents of Sopore town in Baramulla district have consistently complained about inadequate water supplies from the concerned department, adding to their woes.
It is noteworthy that more than 75% of the town’s population depends on the Shrakwara water scheme, while the remaining 25% receive supplies from the Watlab scheme. Recently, the Jammu and Kashmir Housing & Urban Development Department introduced the Sewerage and Water Augmentation Project (SWAP) under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT-2), covering Sopore. The town received its first installment of central assistance funds amounting to Rs 10 crore out of the sanctioned 56 crores.
Former Municipal Council Sopore, Musarat Kar, said the water scarcity issues would soon be resolved by the scheme.
“The crises are going to end soon as the implantation of the scheme has already taken place. AMRUT is going to cater for the town as for the first time, River Jhelum is being explored, a survey of which has already been done by the engineer’s wing and the authorities,” she told KNO.
“Some people have suggested exploring the scheme from Athwatoo Bandipora, which may pose problems similar to those seen in Shrakwara, with numerous connections resulting in inadequate supplies to Soporians. We won’t let this happen, as we already have a source with settled water from Jhelum and connections to Wular at Ningli,” she added.
It is important to mention that the town has witnessed protests against the Jal Shakti Department, with residents demanding adequate drinking water supplies and accusing the department of neglecting their genuine demands.