India

Most water coolers defunct in city of temples lying defunct due to lack of maintenance

Shubham Sharma
[ July 08, 2017 ] With mercury rising day by day, the commuters are suffering as most of the water cooler machines installed in the city are lying defunct due to lack of maintenance by the concerned authorities. Most of the drinking water coolers installed by the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) at various locations in the city are either defunct and few who are in working condition, have not been cleaned for months together and people are forced to drink water from them. The JMC has installed 316 coolers in the city. Though the civic body had recently begun the repair work of these coolers, many of them still are not suitable for use. There are 71 wards in Jammu and each former corporator had installed two to three water coolers in his respective ward but these coolers have not been maintained for long and are down with technical faults like non-working compressors and broken cooling chambers. Moreover, the residents also claim that in most of the markets and on busy roads we do not have proper drinking water facilities in the city. Lack of cold drinking water facilities in the city is creating problems for the people, especially for the commuters and daily wage workers, who are left with no other option than to buy water bottles to quench their thirst. In most parts of the city, water coolers are in very bad condition. Stagnant water and garbage lying beside them makes for a repulsive sight for commuters. At a time when the temperature is hovering near 45 degree Celsius in city of temples and thousands of yatries daily visiting city for their onwards journey to Mata Vaishno Devi and Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra. The civic body of city after spending crores of rupees on installation of water coolers with much fanfare with name inscribed by local MLAs for self-publicity fails to provide any relief to anyone to quench their thirst in this scorching heat which is getting worse with every passing day as the forthcoming Monsoon is still a far distant reality in Jammu.As per the official information provided by JMC, they have accepted that nearly 30% water coolers are dysfunctional among total 55 in both Jammu east and Jammu West. The condition of water coolers which are functional at present is disheartening as there is no proper way for water outlets and the water is spreading in and around the installed water coolers besides frequently on roads also. The apathy of these water coolers is that most of them becomes defunct in few days after their installation which results in wastage of money and failure of objective to ensure that whosoever visits city of temples must not feel that there is scarcity of drinking water which was a case in past. The pertinent reason for their deserted look that there is no monitoring with regard to their proper functioning which should be as mere installation and then no care of them will definitely make them dysfunctional.JMC is duty bound to look after these water coolers but as per the information available from their office there is no such monitoring is being done which results in their deserted look and forces people to avoid such water coolers as the hygiene in and around them is worse than mentioning due to civic body’s failure to provide water in hygienic conditions. It is believed that JMC has kept these water coolers non-functional with intention to promote the business of hundreds of unlicensed rehriwallas selling jalgira and cold water with goondkadira and shikangi. The other part of the story is electric connections of water coolers have been illegally granted to those vendors who are greasing palms of JMC area officials. Moreover, due to the callousness of JMC there is every likelihood that the unhygienic condition and water logging around theses water coolers may result in any epidemic besides allowing breeding ground for the mosquitoes putting the life of thousands of people in the clutches of dangerous diseases like dengue. It is high time that the concerned authorities should pay attention towards this and do the needful so that commuters can get little relief in this scorching weather.