KOMAL SANTOKH SINGH
UDHAMPUR: The lackadaisical approach of the Public Health Engineering (PHE) Department Udhampur not only has left the residents without water but the small school children are also its victim as they have to fetch water for drinking from one kilometer away.
The victims are the students of Government Primary School Kunalsoo, Tehsil Chenani, district Udhampur. The situation is so ironical that there is no dearth of water in natural sources but for the PHE which is unable to provide tapped drinking water. As a result of lack of interest on the part of the department the huge water source remains untapped on one hand and on the other, the children of the school are deprived of clean drinking water.
The PHE authorities are well aware of the provisions on tapping the natural water source which can be made use of even with the assistance of police, if required, but the department failed to accomplish the work and had been whiling away time for number of years. The DDC Udhampur in his directions had clarified that PHE Department has every right to use the natural source of water for providing the same to the public at large as the department is the sole care taker of all the natural sources of water as per the provisions of J K Water Resources Regulation and Management Act 2010.
The half-hearted action of the PHE XEn Udhampur and AEE PHE concerned led to a dispute due to which the anti-party people namely Krishan
Lal and others moved the Court of Sub Judge Udhampur through their complaint bearing No 38/Civil Misc dated 5th August, 2016 and sought to stay the PHE work of tapping the source. The Sub Judge Udhampur after carefully examining the application dismissed the complaint on 9th February, 2017 saying that the applicants have no prima facie case and balance of convenience does not lie in their favour.
The Court also held that the plaintiffs even if are getting water from the said source, that does not confer any right on them to dictate terms to PHE Department as to whom else the water supply is to be provided from the said source.
The fact remains that due to lackadaisical attitude of PHE a quantity of 50,000 to 60,000 liters of water is being allowed to go waste everyday and on the other hand school children in dire need of 500 liters of drinking water are made to collect water on foot from the same source which is one kilometer away from the school.
The NGO Live and Let Live Society of India (LLLSI) headed by its Chairman Romal Singh appeals to the DDC Udhampur, Superintending Engineer PHE Udhampur and XEn PHE Udhampur to progress this case on humanitarian grounds and on high priority so that the children of Kunalsoo Primary School get water for drinking purpose as also save the wastage of water complying with the national slogan of ‘Save Water, Save Life’.
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