Kangan’s power canal claims lives, livestock

Kangan, Feb 17: The non-fenced water canal of the Upper Sindh Hydropower Project Stage-I in Gund, Kangan in Ganderbal district is posing a grave threat to the lives of thousands of people and property here.

According to locals, the water canal feeding the Upper Sindh Hydropower (USHP) Stage-I, Sumbal passes through several areas from Kullan to Ganiwan without any fencing or protection walls, putting the entire population in these areas under threat.

“There have been several incidents where people lost their lives and property including livestock,” the locals said.

They said that several times the canal breached, resulting in a flood-like situation in which several residential houses were damaged besides hundreds of kanal of cultivated land.

Locals alleged the Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Corporation (J&K PDC) of playing with the lives of the people by not fencing and covering the power canal despite witnessing several such incidents in the past.

“No one has ever bothered to think about fencing these canal banks to avoid and stop any such untoward incident. Early repair to the damaged and broken canal banks and their fencing has become necessary to avert any untoward incident,” the locals said.

They said that in the past, several bodies had been retrieved from these power canals and most of them were found to be accidental cases.

A few days ago the body of a woman from the Gund area, who allegedly drowned in the power canal after she reportedly slipped into the canal, was retrieved.

“Many human lives have been lost till now. Many of these incidents could have been averted if there would have been any safety barriers like fencing,” said Muhammad Yousuf, a resident.

The locals said that if the concerned department had taken note of the pleas of the people and properly fenced and covered the canal, the loss could have been minimised.

“We are living in constant danger since the establishment of the canal,” said Muhammad Ayoub, a local.


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