Kharangal: Residents of a remote village in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir say their womenfolk have to trek five hours daily to fetch drinking water but an official maintained there is no scarcity there. The residents of Kota Top village, situated in a remote area of Doda district in Jammu and Kashmir, said, “The severe water crisis is getting worse with each passing year as the natural sources (of water) have started drying up rapidly in our area.” “Kota Top is the last village of Tehsil Bhalessa in Doda and is made up of nearly 50 mud homes inhabited by Gujjars, who traditionally rely on cattle-rearing and are considered to be one of the most backward tribes of J-K,” said a local.
The women of the village are forced to take a dangerous route across muddy slopes bearing large pitchers on their heads to fetch water, they said. “I either have to leave my baby boy at home or strap him to my back and trek for miles to Dramman village to collect water from muddy pond,” said Safura Begum, a Kota Top resident. “We have to make five-hour treks daily to fetch water,” she said. The villagers claimed that although two water supply schemes — Koti to Kota Top and Shaddal to Kota Top — are meant to serve their village, not a single connection has been provided to them. However, Executive Engineer, Special Division (Gandoh- Bhalessa) Abdul Rasheed Sheikh rejected these allegations, saying the village does not have any water problem. PTI
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