Bandipora village bears costs of Kishanganga Power Project
Inhabitants of a Bandipora village are up in arms against Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) for polluting the water resources of the area.
Residents of Pazalpora village told Kashmir POST that the company has polluted the main source of water from where the water is supplied to the village for drinking purpose.
“Since the work on construction of the 330 megawatt Kishanganga power project started the water resources of the area either started depleting or they got polluted by the heavy machinery used by the company, thereby making us suffer immensely,” a local resident Ghulam Qadir Khan said.
“Before the project started we used to get water from a spring, where a reservoir was constructed and then the water was supplied to the Pazalpora village. But when the project started the spring dried up and the company started to channel the chemical waste at the project site into the reservoir, thereby making the water contaminated and the same water is being supplied to the village. We are forced to consume this ‘turbid water’ as we have no other source of water,” he said.
Locals said that the company has constructed small drains through which they channel out the chemical waste as well as turbid water into the reservoir and stream that passes through the village.
The village houses more than 300 households, who according to them, are directly affected by the “turbid water”.
“Our miseries started in 2009 when HCC started construction of the powerhouse and tunnel in the area. The main source of water i.e. spring reservoir, to the village got ‘intoxicated’ due to chemical waste discharge into the reservoir and the stream which is locally known as ‘Bonar Nallah’. The stream was not only the source of drinking water but it was used for washing clothes and irrigation purposes,” said another local resident, Mohammad Shaban Chopan, who is also the member of the local Auqaf Committee.
HCC started work on the construction of the 330 megawatt Kishanganga power project in Mantrigam area of Bandipora district in October 2009.
Locals said that instead of constructing sedimentation tanks and filtration plants to filter the polluted water they discharge the chemical waste into the reservoir from where the water is supplied to the Pazalpora village. “6 inch pipe has been installed through which the company directly discharges chemical waste into the reservoir,” they said.
They alleged that the company has also constructed lavatories at the source of water, thereby discharging the waste into the water which is consumed by the villagers living downstream. “We used to wash clothes, utensils and irrigate our paddy fields with the stream (Bonar Nallah) that passes through the village. Now we even fear to touch the water,” they said.
Locals said that they approached the concerned authorities and local administration but their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
Despite repeated attempts, Project Manager HCC, A.I. Binny, could not be contacted.
DC Bandipora, Sajad Hussain, said that he would send a team of officers to the area to ascertain the facts.