150 households of Sharekhi village of Tehsil Bhadarwah in District Doda are reeling under severe water crisis and are practically living without piped water supply even in the month of holy Ramadan.
Located on a hilly slope in north east of Bhadarwah,Sharekhi village in Katyara Panchayat 15 Km from Bhadarwah town , consists of 150 households, all of them belonging to Muslim community and mostly labourers by profession.
The villagers,especially women folk have no other option but to first trekk the hill then stand in queues for hours at least thrice a day in gruelling heat and despite having fasts of Ramadan to fetch the water from a natural spring for daily needs.
“It is not only hectic but during the month of Ramadan, it is becoming unbearable for us, as in the morning we have to work in the maize fields then attend the school and after that we have no other option but to trekk this steep slope to fetch the water,which leaves us completely exhausted, ” said a 12 years old student Fozia Bano of village Sharekhi.
“Things would have been a little better if we have tap water,perhaps we are poor that’s why no one bothers to provide us water even in the month of Ramadan,” Fozia added.
The villagers claimed that despite repeated requests to the administration in general and PHE authorities in particular,they hardly gave heed to our problem.
“We have been running from pillar to post since last one year, I have been to AEE PHE at least 15 times with a request to augment the rusted pipes and demaged water reservoir but they seem to be least bothered about our plight resulting in the serious water crisis in this holy month of Ramadan and when the murcury is soaring to maximum,” said Chairman Panchayat Katyra Mehboob Ali.
“I request the authorities to please have some pitty at least for the sake of this holy month and restore water supply, if not completely but for public stands,” chairman added.
The Holy month of Ramadan has strarted on 7th June, in this month Muslim traditionally need more water than usual, as during this period everyone offers prayers five times a day.
“You can yourself see the condition of the pipes,which clearly indicate that water has not flown in these since ages. We are daily wage labourers and our women folk including young girls are compelled to trekk 2 to 3 Kilometres with huge pots to bring water as we need water before every time we offer prayers(Namaz),” said a villager Mohd Hanief Batt.
“The water rasivior ment for our village is non functional and has got partially demaged,one can see dead birds and insects floating in the water. We requested the field staff several times but they are insensitive towards this basic needs as we have not seen the supervisor posted here since last three year,” he alleged.
When contacted Executive Engineer Public Health Engineering (PHE) Doda,Abdul Wahid Zarger said, “I have already received a complaint regarding this problem and have asked Assistant Executive Engineer (AEE) Bhadarwah to personally visit the site tomorrow along with Junior Engineer (JE). They have been asked to submit the report at the earliest about the demages and requirements if any, so that we can immediately restore the supply.”
“The erring officials would be taken to task and if any of our field staff found guilty, strern action will be initiated against them. Meanwhile I have posted a local supervisor there to ensure smooth and timely water supply to these villages,” Officer added.