Kashmir often faces water scarcity in winter forcing residents of mostly rural areas to consume water from streams

Drinking water, especially in winter, becomes a major issue for the residents of Jammu and Kashmir. To resolve it, as much as Rs 604 crore has been released by the government to the Union Territory under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM).

In 2021-22, this allocation has been raised to Rs 2747 crore—nearly four times the allocation made for the UT in 2020-21. The fund has been hiked in order to ensure that every rural household in Jammu and Kashmir receives tap water supply by year 2024.

Water testing laboratories

Supplying water to every household is not only the responsibility of the government under the ambitious JJM, instead, to see that J&K residents get pure water, the JJM has recently set up 97 water testing laboratories in J&K -- wherein water testing tools have been placed for measuring the purity of water.

“Kashmir often faces water scarcity which forces the residents, of mostly rural areas, to consume stream water thereby making water testing an important facility,” said Mohammad Irfan, an environmentalist.

It is commonly felt that if a water testing facility is in place, it will become easy for the J&K administration to regularly monitor the operation of water supply, verify the safety of drinking water, investigate disease outbreaks and quickly apply preventive measures.

At the grass root level the monitoring of water quality will be carried out by the rural community itself using field test kits, under this scheme.

In each village five people, which would mostly comprise women, would be identified and empowered to keep a check on water quality.

Women who would be a part of the mission would include ASHA workers, health workers, VWSC/Pani Samiti members, teachers and SHG members.

For the purpose of chemical contamination, once a year testing would be done and for checking out the bacteriological parameters twice a year testing would be performed, a senior official from the water supply department in Srinagar said.

Water management:

With an intention to take swift decision, the District Commissioner of Srinagar has planned out activities under the JJM.

An official from the DC office informed Indian News Network that proposals for rain water harvesting, ground water recharge and gray water management for reuse of waste water under JJM have also been chalked out.

He also informed about ‘Pani Simiti’ committees at Panchayat level. “These committees have been active at the panchayat level and are playing a key role in planning, implementation, management, operation and maintenance of village water supply systems,” the official added.

All this is done to provide clean tap water to every household on a regular and long-term basis.