World Water Day And A Waterless Village in Poonch
Although district Poonch as a whole suffers acute water-shortage but the situation of Banpat is worrisome.
Banpat is a sparse settlement situated in the backyard of Poonch town. It’s a village of Haveli tehsil of Poonch district, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
The village which has 570 households, accommodates a population of nearly 3000, as per the last census conducted in 2011.
The data shows that, Banpat is one of the most backward villages, of one of the most backward districts of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, as per all the standard indicators of Socio economic development.
The economy of Banpat is primarily agrarian, wherein most of the earning hands of the village sale the meagre produce of milk in the Poonch town.
The village, which is situated on a very rugged topography, witnesses acute shortage of potable water in all weathers.
“Sometimes we travel for more than 5 kilometres, to fetch a gallon of water for drinking and others purposes” said a local standing in queue at the only functional hand-pump of the village.
“It becomes extremely difficult in summer season to meet the water demands of Kitchen and washrooms” said another lady, standing in queue at the same hand pump.
A member of local Panchayat, intimated the Pir Panjal Post team that, “nothing has been done in this regard”. “whatever has been done by the administration so far is far less and too meagre than required” he further added.
“There have been times when we literally didn’t have enough water to quench the thirst, on a hot summer day” said a labourer from the village.
On international water day, we urge all of you to save water. A little effort may save a million lives.