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Posted at: Mar 27, 2015, 12:32 AM; last updated: Mar 27, 2015, 12:24 AM (IST)WATER CRISIS IN BATHINDA

Authorities take groundwater route

Gurdeep Singh Mann

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 26

The groundwater route taken by the authorities to answer the ever-rising water crisis in the city is not going down well with many city residents.

Though the department officials explains that the underground water would be used only during exigency but some residents who came to know about the groundwater, cast aspersions over the department’s move.

Dheeraj Kumar, a resident of Model Town, Phase I, said the underground water used for the drinking purpose is not fit for human consumption. Similar views were expressed by some residents of adjoining Dhobiana Basti who, too, have stopped using their water pumps and instead get water from the water works-taps or the ROs installed by the government.

The Water Works and Sanitation Department has hired the services of a private bore well company to install a high power tube well connection, which is likely to cost them around Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000. Though the department has spent an amount of nearly Rs 4.11crore on a water treatment plant, overhead tank and another underground clean water tank but the same is yet to start functioning due to the red tapism and lack of pro-active approach of the government officers. The delay in the functioning of project forced the officials to dig bore well to get underground water.

Even the foundation stone worth nearly Rs 15 crore by Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal fail to bear fruits despite her promise to deliver water in every household before the corporation elections.

The decision to use groundwater during “emergency” is taken in the wake of dried up Sirhind Canal for the past 25 days, the department officials said.

Jaswinder Singh, XEN, said before releasing the water for households, the same would be tested from a government certified lab. If cleared, only then the groundwater would be released for domestic and other purposes,” he said.

He pointed out that if the underground water fails to clear the test then the project—to use underground water –would be shelved.

“Since people complain after they fail to get water even for the toiletries, we have decided to install the pump to bring out groundwater. The residents says that they can fetch water for drinking purposes from the ROs installed by the government but fail to get the same for other purposes,” said SDO, Jaspreet Kaur Mann. A visit to the site where the tube-well is being dug up reveals that water will be brought up from at least 250 feet deep the earth. “We charge Rs 100 per foot for digging earth and will take four to five days to finish the task,” said one of the workers.

The department is maintaining the work of releasing the water to households on the behalf of the Municipal Corporation. The corporation has paid an amount of Rs 30 lakh last year to the department. The amount collected in the form of bills by department from the people was deducted by the corporation.

Mayor Balwant Rai Nath, Bathinda, too paid a visit at the water works last evening in view of the dried up Sirhind Canal and hue and cry by the city residents for the past one week.

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