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To fetch drinking water villagers forced to trek up a mountain for 3 hours
Facing a severe water crisis, people in more than a dozen villages in four Panchayats of Mahore Tehsil of Reasi district are forced to stand in a queue for hours at a stretch just to fetch 10 litres of water.

WOMEN FOLK of around 100 families (mostly Gujjars and Bakerwals) from Upper Tulli A, Upper Tulli B, Lower Tulli A and Lower Tulli B are forced to trek for over three kilometres of treacherous terrain and stand in queue for hours to fetch their daily supply from the few functioning water taps.

"It takes about two to three hours to fetch 10 liters of water. I'd come here to get water and there were 40 to 50 people waiting ahead of me. Out of that only about 10 or 20 got water. Like me, the rest will go home empty-handed. We have been dealing with this problem for the last 7 years," said Muneeza Begam (18), a Bakerwal girl of Turamsar village of lower Tulli Panchayat.

Natural sources of water like rivers, streams and ground water have dried up in the area because of climate change. Many residents here are now taking to preserving the little rain water, which they use mostly for cleaning. During tough times some are even forced to drink the same water.

The villagers have repeatedly approached the local government officials but no steps have been taken yet to resolve the issue. The locals of Tulli Chasana belt of Reasi are forced to drink unhygienic drinking water due to the lack of water resources and supplies. As the sole water source is a natural fountain in upper Tulli area and villagers living near the fountain wash their clothes and utensils and the same water is supplied to the lower areas that too only twice a week.

"We are facing severe water crisis; on paper, public health engineering department has shown that water pipes have been laid in the area and connections provided to all households but on ground only four out of 100 families are provided with water connections. We approached District Development commissioner, local MLA and concerned minister about the same but as of now no step has been taken," said naib sarpanch of Lower Tulli Panchayat Yusaf Shah.

When contacted, Additional Development Commissioner Reasi Nasir Iqbal Parray while confirming the plight of the people said, “After receiving the reports, we initiated an inquiry and district administration visited the affected areas and according to preliminary reports, it was found that there is something wrong which has added to the miseries of the poor villagers. We have also recommended and forwarded a case against the former executive engineer PHE Dharmari division to the vigilance organization."

He, however, added that district administration and state government are committed to mitigate the problems of the people living in far off areas.

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