Even as authorities have promised to provide tap water connection in every house of the Union Territory by August 2022, many parts of Jammu and Kashmir are witnessing protests against the non-availability of potable water.

In Jammu province's Ramnagar town, enraged residents organized a massive protest against the failure of the concerned department to supply water for the last 15 days, in Kashmir Valley residents of Magam in Central Kashmir Budgam district on Monday blocked the Srinagar-Gulmarg highway to lodge their protest against non-availability of potable water in their area.

Protest against water scarcity
Resident of Magam in central Kashmir protesting against non availability of drinking watersocial media

Scores of the residents, the majority of them women, assembled at Magam on the Srinagar-Gulmarg highway, shouting anti-administration and anti-PHE slogans against the scarcity of drinking water, and demanded the early redressal of the grievance.

The enraged residents said that the area is without water for the last many days, and despite repeated requests, the administration has failed to restore the problem.

Protest against water scarcity
Protest against scarcity of potable water in Magamsocial media

A protest was earlier held at Kawoosa village

On August 20, residents of Kawoosa village in central Kashmir's Budgam district held a protest demonstration against the water shortage in the area. Quoting some protesting people, a local news agency reported that residents of this region have been facing water shortage for the last two months in the area.

Protestors alleged that they have repeatedly approached the officials concerned to solve their problem but nothing has been done.

"This is not the first time that we have hit the streets, but in the past few years, we are being forced to stage protests", protestors said.

Higher-ups admit "some" problems in rural areas

In a bid to downplay peoples' protest against the scarcity of potable water, Chief Engineer Jal Shakti Department Kashmir Basharat Jeelani Kawoosa said that these are isolated cases.

"Generally there is no such big issue regarding scarcity of potable water in Kashmir Valley", the Chief Engineer told International Bussiness Times. He, however, admitted that there may problems in some rural areas. "We are on the job to solve the problem of scarcity of drinking water in the entire Kashmir Valley", he said and added that many water supply schemes have already been launched to ensure the supply of drinking water.

No supply of drinking water in Ramnagar for the last 15 days

For the last one week, inhabitants of Ramnagar town of Udhampur district of J&K are protesting against the non-availability of drinking water for the last 15 days.

Locals demonstrated under the chairmanship of Ward 3 councillor Sanjeev Jandial regarding the water problem that has been going on for about 15 days in the town.

Protest against water scarcity
Residents of Ramnagar Udhampur protesting against scarcity of watersocial media

Sanjeev Jandial said that the water supply in the town has been stopped for 15 days, due to which the residents of the area are facing many problems.

"Every house in J&K to have tap water connection by Aug 2022"

In December 2021, Union Jal Shakti Ministry had promised that every house in Jammu and Kashmir will have a tap water connection by August 2022 under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) scheme of the Union Government.

A senior officer of the Jal Shakti Ministry had stated that with a focus to expedite the implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission in Jammu & Kashmir, the Union Government has already released Rs 604 crore so far.

He said this year a Central fund of Rs 2,747 crore was allocated for the implementation of JJM, which is nearly four times the allocation made during 2020-21.

"J&K plans to become 'Har Ghar Jal' UT by August 2022. Presently out of 18.35 lakh rural households in the UT, 10.39 lakh households have got tap water connections," he said. This is done despite adverse weather conditions in the state and transportation challenges in many areas in this difficult terrain.