Water scarcity issue in plains not in higher reaches: CE PHE

Rehan Qayoom Mir

Amidst a prolonged dry spell in Kashmir, approximately 20 percent of the valley’s potable water supply is “badly affected”, the Jal Shakti Department said on Monday.

Chief Engineer, Jal Shakti, Kashmir, Er Sanjeev Malhotra, speaking with the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), said the situation may deteriorate further if there is no immediate wet spell.

He said the impact of the dry spell is more in plain areas which are witnessing a much decline in water supply. “Isolated springs across the valley have also dried up, which has exacerbated the water scarcity issue,” Malhotra said, adding that there is no such problem in higher reaches.

The Chief Engineer said an emergency water supply plan has been initiated for areas having water scarcity. But this is not a permanent solution, he clarified. “For water supply, there is no contingency plan, as water production depends on the availability of water in bodies like rivers and springs,” he explained.

Er Malhotra further said that there is no problem with groundwater resources.

Meanwhile, meteorological officials have predicted dry weather until January 24 (Wednesday), with generally cloudy conditions and light snow anticipated at isolated higher reaches from January 25-26. From January 27-31, there is a possibility of light to moderate rain/snow in many places, according to MeT.

The valley is currently experiencing ‘Chillai-Kalan,’ the 40-day harsh winter period, which will conclude on January 29.

Salat-ul-Istisq – prayers to seek rain/snow – have been offered across the valley since last week—(KNO)