India

PHE department fails to improve drinking water supply despite spending worth crores

[ April 04, 2018 ] Several areas get irregular Water supply for a maximum period of half an hour Public Health Engineering department of J&K State is one more department headed by an incompetent Minister causing misuse of crores of rupees by officials of said department. It is painful to note during last three financial years department spent hundreds of crores of rupees in the name of augmentation/ development of existing drinking water pipelines and another hundreds of crores spent on machinery and maintenance but sadly nothing on the ground changed compelling people to cry for water in the rural areas of Jammu city. PHE Rural Division , Jammu main responsibility is to provide drinking water to residents ,residing in villages popularly known as Kandi Belt and prominent among them are Choudahi ,Bantalab,Bhalwal, Keran, Amb Ghorata, Chata Choudhi, Brimini, Bajalta, Tote De Khui, and Nagrota since decades under one head or other another crores spent on papers but till day no pipeline infrastructure existed in above mentioned areas to provide sufficient supply of water. Artful officials of PHE without bothering who heads the state are so powerful and manipulator are not afraid of any body and the funds at their disposal are being constantly embezzled leading residents to bear brunt of their sins. PHE Rural got hundreds of crores of rupees through centre sponsored (CSS) beside state allotted budget be it planned or non-planned. In the year 2015-16 an amount of Rs 26,88,338 was spent on papers under Border Area Development Programme( BADP) in RS Pura, Marh, Bishnah and Satwari Block. In the next year 2016-17 an amount of 1,15,76,283 was shown spent, On installation of hand pumps in Bishnah sum of Rs 9.12 and at RS Pura for same work, 20.45 lacs stands spent but on the ground hand pumps of department were either non-functional and in few cases residents of locality informed have not seen water coming from these. PHE Rural Division Jammu in the name of rural water supply under centrally sponsored scheme (CCS) got funds & for National rural development water programme (NRDWP) an amount of Rs 3,50.34,406 in the year 2015-16 and in the next year 2016-17 an amount of Rs 55,57,5422 shown utilized. Moreover on account of construction of filtration plants and on WSS sum of Rs 1,27,9504 was spent during the last financial year by the Division in question. Under the head PMDP-under SDRF an amount of Rs 19,989832 and under UDP,an amount of Rs 1488365. National Bank for agriculture and rural development (NABARD) also released an amount of Rs 1,20,89,883 in the year 2016-17 strangely funds in crores on papers shown utilized but sadly no water available in the areas where said funds claimed were used. In the name of maintenance and repairs another amount of Rs 7493865 in the year 2015-16 was shown utilized and in the name of tanker services, Rs 3.80 lacs stands utilized. Officials of PHE claims various size pipes like 20 MM, 25 MM, 50 MM measuring 14326, 9807 and 11149.7 metres were laid by the division in the areas falling under its jurisdiction in Jammu. Moreover pipe having hundred MM (L) & (M) measuring 5467.25 and 4632.45 metres was also claimed used. Interestingly in a single year, pipe measuring 86552 metres stand laid down but whose getting water from these pipes is yet to be known as on a visit to Kandi villages, it was found in majority of areas ,either there is no pipelines and if exist is in Skelton. It is intriguing to note every year under different schemes crores of rupees are shown spent but residents claimed till day they don’t have PHE provided water connection and few who have said they are the unfortunate consumers of PHE & are getting twice a week piped drinking water. Govt owes an explanation neither the villages are expanding every year nor migrants are migrating in Kandi areas then why neither the laying down of water pipes getting completed nor the department is able to provide piped drinking water on daily basis to those in whose names hundreds of crores of rupees has been misappropriated . Our team of correspondents when interacted with residents of Choudahi ,Bantalab, Bhalwal, Keran, Amb Ghorata, Chata Choudhi, Brimini, Bajalta, Tote De Khui, Upper Choudhi and Nagrota, they said that the water supply in these areas is highly irregular and claimed that the water supply remains affected for days together. Some of them even said that they hardly get twice supply of water in a week and that too for a half an hour. They on the contrary questioned our correspondents that please ask the concerned department what is the fun of laying water pipes and spending worth crores on papers when they are deprived of drinking water. It is sad to note that if a govt fails to provide at least drinking water to its subjects then what else can be expected from such a govt and a department whose only concern so far is to display hectic figures to claim that they are doing their best for the welfare of public. Worth mentioning here since 2013-14 onwards beside PHE,ERA too got involved in improving existing water pipe lines and also claims got constructed less than a dozen OHTs .As per official record ERA too has spent hundreds of crores rupees in the name of above mentioned works but without bringing any positive change in existing system. Senior officers of PHE when questioned why water supply is not improving despite ERA laid pipelines and OHTs , replied they are not well versed how to commission ERA pipelines and with regard to OHTs they added are yet to be handed over to them. During same period, Jammu Rural Division also got constructed one OHT having 30000 gallons capacity through Shiv Saran Gupta amounting to Rs 25.89 lacs but on the ground this OTH too have provided no relief to those who are desperately waiting to see water in their taps. No doubt residents of Kandi areas are not getting water, but PHE Rural Division employees who are there to serve them have drawn 18.64 crores as salary in lieu of services provided to ibid stated. During last three years said department too claims to have spent over thirty crores but where deserves to be probed because in barren villages residents as usual are without water.