This Filtration Plant Supplies Dust and Bird Beat With Drinking Water To B’la Inhabitants

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This Filtration Plant Supplies Dust and Bird Beat With Drinking Water To B’la Inhabitants
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“We get polluted water even after so-called filtration. Most of the people town rely on boiling water or have installed kits that treat water. It is very sad that government has done nothing for supplying potable water to locals,’’ said Javid Bashir a resident of Azad Ganj. He said even the new filtration plant at Azad Ganj that supplies water to civil-lines areas of the town has been rendered useless.


Imtiyaz Wani

Around four decades ago as thousands of inhabitants of Baramulla town were drinking unhygienic water, the then government headed by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah set up 1.6 M.G.I treatment cum filtration plant on the foothills of picturesque mountains. The plant was inaugurated on June 17th, 1980.

The water is being lifted from river Jhelum and after proper treatment and filtration; the water is being distributed in the entire old town with a population of 50,000 souls. The another plant has been established at Azad Ganj close to the river that supplies water to the civil lines areas of the town. Jointly these two filtration plants cater to around one lakh souls.  Both these filtration plants have turned defunct due to wear and tear of the machines and water supplied through tapes in the town is not fit for consumption.

Even officials acknowledge that the main filtration plant has outlived its life. “When this plant was setup, it has a life span of two decades. Now it is already in its 37th year. Imagine its condition,’’ a senior PHE official who has served at the plant said.

“Even the filtration plant that was setup in late 90’s has already started giving trouble. In my opinion, the new plant is even worse than the older one. The older filtration plant is still working to some extent.’’

The officer said both these plants need immediate replacement, otherwise, some day it will become a major headache for both administration and locals.   “From last 20 years no renovation has been taken place at this filtration plant, ‘said Mohammad Shaban, who lives close to the plant. He said the plant needs proper overhaul and installation of fresh machines with latest technology.

He also said that most of the machines inside the filtration plant are lying defunct. “Only chlorination is done through manual process, rest many compromises are being made for during water treatment.”

Motor man Abdul Salam Shah said that the water is not treated as per the requirements and this is also reason for many diseases. “The polluted water is lifted from river and sometimes due to lack of proper treatment, it is being supplied to consumers.’’

‘’ At the new plants chlorination is being done through machines for purification of water. Then water should be supplied. In Baramulla no such technology is used,’’ said Tanveer Ahmad who works as a daily wager employee in PHE department.

Though time to time senior officials visit the filtration plant, however nobody is bothered to get things rectified inside the filtration. “They just concentrate on the painting walls of the plant to give it a beautiful look. Rest nothing is done to upgrade machinery,’’ said a worker adding that even big water tanks inside the plant are without roof. “The water supplied to homes is full of dust particles and bird beat.’’

Those working in the plant said that such is the condition of equipment and machines that motors make loud noise and machines breakdown continuously. ‘’We know what we are treating and then supplying to the inhabitants of the town. It pains us and seek forgiveness from almighty.’’

Junior Engineer Tariq Ahmad who looks after the plant denied these allegations and said that this is one of the best filtration plants in north Kashmir. “In this filtration plant we can only renovate its machineries and can’t install the new machineries.

The water treatment is done through mechanical process and there are no complaints.’’ He said that even water is supplied from this plant to district hospital Baramulla as the doctors consider it safe.  “Also on daily basis we are sending water samples to laboratory for check up and after proper checkup it is supplied to consumers.’’

Ahmad, however, said that a proposal has been sent to government for the renovation of this plant and under different schemes the officials have been asked to get old machines replaced with new ones.

“The paucity of funds is turning into a big impediment and with funds we can’t do anything. ‘’

Though government has tried to get a new plant installed in Baramulla town under central scheme AMRUT. However, the proposal was turned down as administration has never done the census properly and the project got shelved.

Though in the past there were two big proposals for supplying clean water to Baramulla town either from Boniyar Baramulla or from Kandi, however, due to political inferences both the projects got shelved as politicians are least bothered.  

“We get polluted water even after so-called filtration. Most of the people town rely on boiling water or have installed kits that treat water. It is very sad that government has done nothing for supplying potable water to locals,’’ said Javid Bashir a resident of Azad Ganj. He said even the new filtration plant at Azad Ganj that supplies water to civil-lines areas of the town has been rendered useless.

The author reports from Baramulla for The Legitimate

 

 

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