Secretary, Public Health and Engineering, Irrigation and Flood Control, Farooq Ahmad Shah today chaired a meeting of PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC) departments to review the preparedness for meeting contingency of drinking water crisis due to the sub-zero temperature in the Valley for past few days.The meeting was attended by Chief Engineer PHE Kashmir, Abdul Wahid, Superintending Engineers Civil of South, North and Kupwara, Superintending Engineers mechanical South and North, all Executive Engineers of civil, mechanical and groundwater divisions.The Secretary directed all the SEs, XENs and other officials of the department to be present at their respective stations so as to tackle the present situation which has emerged due to the frozen water supply pipes in Kashmir.During the meeting, Farooq ordered the cancellation of leaves for all the PHE and I&FC officials till water scarcity is over. Those who have proceeded on leave, other than those who are on pilgrimage or on medical leave, were directed by the Secretary to return to their duties immediately, otherwise, strict action would be taken against them.
He impressed upon the HoDs that they would not sanction any kind of leave without prior approval of the administrative department.SEs and XENs were directed to establish control rooms at their respective offices which shall remain functional 24/7. The officers were further directed to furnish the roster of permanent employees of the department and submit the same by Monday.The Secretary stressed upon the officials to chalk out a contingency plan to make sure that people do not suffer due to the lack of drinking water. He directed the concerned to send water tankers to the areas where people are facing the shortage of drinking water. Besides, the department will also hire additional private water tankers and tractors to supply water to every locality that is suffering from a water shortage due to present climatic conditions.Meanwhile, the Secretary also suspended four employees of PHE division Handwara and Narbal for lapse in delivering their duties.