Authorities press tanker services; urge people to use water judiciously

Jahangeer Ganaie

The prolonged dry spell in the Kashmir Valley has resulted in the depletion of renowned water bodies in south Kashmir, triggering a water shortage in numerous villages.

According to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), several water supply schemes, which rely on springs, wells and other water sources, have either dried up or experienced a significant decrease in water levels.

Mukhtar Ahmad, Executive Engineer of the Jal Shakti Department Division in Awantipora, informed KNO that nearly all the schemes in the division have been adversely affected, which has caused widespread water scarcity.

He said the reduced water level in the Jhelum – a crucial water source for many schemes – has impacted their functionality. However, efforts are underway, with machines deployed to redirect water to the affected areas where schemes are installed, he added.

To address the challenges, water is now being supplied to different villages at staggered intervals, a departure from the previous practice of simultaneous supply, the engineer said, adding that the diminishing water levels in springs and wells have further intensified the impact on schemes reliant on these sources.

AEE PHE Tral, Rafiq Ahmad, said over 30 villages in the sub-division, which rely on Aripal and Putuna springs, as well as local springs, are grappling with the consequences of the dry spell. He said tanker services are being deployed in areas with heightened demand, and an awareness campaign is being carried out through vehicles equipped with loudspeakers, wherein locals are urged to use drinking water responsibly.

AEE advised the residents to store water and contact Jal Shakti Tral for tanker services if needed.

Executive Engineer Jal Shakti Anantnag, Sareer Ahmad said around 20 water supply schemes in the district were affected due to the prolonged dry period.

Nisar Ahmad, Executive Engineer PHE Pulwama, said that approximately 15 water supply schemes serving around 30 villages have been impacted by the extended dryness.

Er Rasheed and Shahnawaz Ahmad – the Executive Engineers from Shopian and Kulgam divisions, respectively, said efforts were underway to maintain water availability in all areas.

Officials said the situation could worsen without rain in the coming weeks. They said tanker services have been mobilized to ensure water supply, and urged the public to use water responsibly.

Deputy Commissioner Pulwama, Dr Basharat Qayoom, directed the PHE department to explore alternate means of water availability, augment existing sources and tap into new sources to alleviate the ongoing water crisis—(KNO)