Villagers in Jammu region still longing for drinking water

Jammu: Although the government claimed to provide piped drinking water to every rural household by September 2022 but a village 40-km away from the Jammu district has no arrangements for tap water.

The locals of Padal village in Samba district just 40 kilometers from the winter capital are still craving for as basic element as tap water, even after 74 years of the Independence.

Padal village situated in Ward number 6, Mahoregarh pachayat is devoid of even the bare necessities including water supply, a school, proper road connectivity and a health care facility.

The village lacks the tap water supply, despite the water pipes laid by the Jal Shakti department about three decades ago. Now the pipes have totally worn out. Despite assurances by the politicians and department, the villagers are endlessly waiting for the day when water will pour into their homes.

The situation worsens in the summers, as the family members including children and women folk forced to make about seven kilometers to and for journey to fetch the water from a well outside the village. On an average, it takes a family about four rounds to amass daily water need.

The villagers are forced to navigate the cramped and arduous route to reach the well and journey becomes even more treacherous while returning as most the route is a steep climb.

The locals are totally on the mercy of god, as the water in the well in contaminated and is in no way fit for drinking. Women folk can be seen filtering the water though their  It takes over half an hour to fill one bucket from that deep down water source and many a times only a portion of it reaches their households in wake of blistering heat. The drinking water predicament has also plunged the future of the children into dark, as they too fetch water along with the females family members, while men earn livelihood for them. Only few of the children are studying, while most of them are assisting in the family chores.

“I came here after the marriage in the village about 40 years and since then I am fetching water on my head. I have lost hair and gone partially bald. Is this the life or hell? We only seen politicians during the elections who had been making hollow promise, while the concerned officers have abdicated their responsibility of even visiting the village”, said a 60 year old woman.

Another sufferer said, “To us we are still living in the dark ages, what is fun of the government, if it cannot provide even a basic thing like water to us. We do not exist for them (administration or the department) and are solely department on rainfall. The department can show some mercy by providing water tankers on temporary basis”.

“We have been hearing for the last three years that tender for the water supply work has been allotted, but nothing has materialised on the ground thus far”, another villager said.

There is no road connectivity to the main road and villages travel the entire stretch of about five kilometers on the foot.


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