PULWAMA — In a village of southern Kashmir’s Pulwama district, residents noticed something strange about the water coming from their taps. It was discoloured and smelly while the supply was also inconsistent. When they finally decided to take a look inside the pipe on Friday morning, dead birds, insects and filthy sludge made them perplexed.
“It didn’t look clean and it was smelly too,” a local resident from Frasipora village, Mohammad Ashraf, said, adding that they have never seen any employee of Public Health Engineering (PHE) Department, now called Jal Shakti Department, in the area for acting on their complaints.
The water comes from ‘Tulkhun’ area, stored in a water tank and then supplied to over 150 households in Frasipora locality.
Residents say complaints that sediment had accumulated inside the water storage tank have also been raised but no action was taken to stop the sediment from travelling along the water supply pipes into household water storage tanks, utensils, and even cookware.
It’s not either a freak occurrence or the outcome of an inescapable problem. Locals claim they have no memory of the storage tank being cleaned since it was constructed.
After actually seeping through crevices, bird drownings, pigeon droppings and other animal waste, the water storage tank made the entire community feel disgusted, especially after the latest incident.
When contacted, Joginder Singh Bali, AEE PHE Pulwama, said that he went to the area and made sure that the pipes are cleaned off the sludge. “The complaint was resolved on the spot with the help of other employees of the Department,” he added.
“We went about the job ourselves,” locals contended, adding, “However, it is also true that the officer visited the area and assured us that no such problems will happen and the necessary frequent cleaning process will be carried out.”
Contaminated tap water causes tens of millions of illnesses each year like diarrhea or respiratory infections.
It is pertinent to mention that people take the water supply coming through pipes as an amenity which is clean enough for drinking, cooking and bathing. However, incidents like these put a question mark on the same and shake the confidence of the people over the public health concern of the government departments.
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