Secretary PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Farooq Ahmad Shah, took a detailed review of the drinking water supply position in the State at a meeting with the Chief Engineers of PHE and other concerned officers.The Secretary PHE also took a detailed review of the status of various water supply schemes under execution in the State.While stressing on ensuring regular potable water supply, the Secretary PHE at the same time called for maintaining the quality of the drinking water as per the set standards. “We have to ensure that every household gets adequate safe water for drinking, cooking and other domestic basic needs on a sustainable basis,” he told the officers present at the meeting.Mr Shah said safe drinking water is to be readily and conveniently accessible at all times and in all situations as it is a basic need. He said in case of shortfall in piped drinking waterin any area, the tanker service should be immediately pressed into service so that the people are not put to any inconvenience. He said the Department should synergize its efforts to ensure that the people don’t face any problems for want of drinking water.He said the leakages of the supply pipes, which are also contributing to the water loss, have to be plugged immediately and no laxity can be tolerated on this count.
“The Department would reactivate the Helpline numbers both at the divisional and the district level so that the people, having any complaint with regard to drinking water supply can immediately bring it into the notice of the concerned,” he said and added that the concerned officers shall have to redress such complaints in a time-bound manner.Mr Shah also called for strengthening the grievances redress mechanism in the Department. He also directed for constituting special teams for keeping a check on potablewater distribution so as to fix responsibilities of the field staff for any kind of negligence.Mr Shah directed the concerned PHE division heads to ensure proper upkeep of equipment at all water installations including filtration plants to avoid breakdown of supply. He also asked the department to take up repairs and replacement of worn out pipes where ever necessary.The Secretary warned that any dereliction of duty or laxity on part of the concerned officers will be viewed seriously and will invite strong action against the officer/official concerned.He also called for conservation of natural sources of water including springs and streams.The Chief Engineer PHE Kashmir who was present at the meeting and Chief Engineer PHE Jammu, who attended the meeting through video-conferencing gave a detailed presentation to the Secretary about the status of the drinking water supply in both the divisions and progress of various water supply schemes.