Saturday, July 21, 2018
facebook

google plus
Punjab

Posted at: Apr 16, 2018, 1:48 AM; last updated: Apr 16, 2018, 1:51 AM (IST)

Stinking reality of villages’ open sewers

With successive state governments failing to offer help, villagers, left to fend for themselves, often end up disposing of wastewater in a hazardous manner by digging deep pits
Stinking reality of villages’ open sewers
Jaito AAP legislator Baldev Singh at the site where villagers dug up a tubewell to dump sewage at Ramuwala Dalianwali village in Faridkot. Tribune photo

Sanjeev Singh Bariana

Tribune News Service

Faridkot, April 15

Devoid of the sewerage facility, people in rural areas of the state are looking for alternative measures to dispose of wastewater.

In one such measure, which has the potential of spelling an environmental disaster, residents of Ramuwala Dalianwali village in the district have dug up a tubewell more than 260-ft deep to dispose of untreated sewage.

A youth leader of the village, Nirmal Singh, says: “We know that what we have done is not right, but we do not have any other alternative. Besides creating stink in the village, the overflowing sewage has eroded the walls of our houses and the village gurdwara.”

Reacting to the development, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Tript Rajinder Bajwa says: “During my tenure as the head of the PPCB, we used to get disturbing reports about industrialists digging tubewells to dump waste. This one will be even worse.”

At Mari village of Moga, Gurjet Singh, a youth volunteer, says the insanitary conditions have led to unexplained high incidence of cancer and Hepatitis in the village. Senior political leaders, including former BJP state president Vijay Sampla, have toured the village, but in vain. Besides several international medical teams have conducted research in the village, but again there is no relief, he adds.

Nishan Singh, a resident of Burj Raike village in Tarn Taran district, says: “Grants announced for our village pond are never utilised. The story is the same in many other villages. Even the road to the village school is in pathetic condition and our children have to take long and alternative routes.”

Narinder Singh, a resident of Nangal Isher village in Hoshiarpur, says: “While the government is not bothered to find an early solution, we are forced to live in inhuman conditions. There is stench all over the village and overflowing sewage is giving rise to diseases. Several people like us are thinking of migrating to some other place.”

The minister says a special programme for managing ponds is being launched in 748 villages, which will be replicated elsewhere after its success.

Bhoa MLA Joginder Pal has also pointed out the pitiable condition of sewers in villages in Pathankot district. “I have sought the immediate intervention of the government in creating water channels to dispose of sewage, which otherwise is flowing in the open and has the potential of spreading an epidemic.”

Kahan Singh Pannu, Chairman, Punjab Pollution Control Board, says: “It is unfortunate to learn about sewage flowing into the earth. Our department has recently prevented a similar digging in a Ludhiana village. We have written to the Rural Development Department and sought names of two villages in each block to allow installation of a workable project to treat sewers and make water fit for irrigation.”

Tript Rajinder Bajwa says: “We have already taken note of the deplorable conditions of overflowing ponds and untreated sewage in rural areas during the recent Budget session.” The issue was also debated by Opposition and ruling MLAs.

Congress MLA Amrinder Singh Raja Warring and AAP MLA Baldev Singh had highlighted the plight of villages all over the state. No outlet for village ponds was the main cause of public misery. Besides water from households, the ponds also got septic lavatory flow, rendering its water unfit for any use, they had agreed.

Jaito MLA Baldev Singh had said: “Papers show that the government spent Rs 48.47 lakh on the drainage project at Dhilwan Kalan village. But on ground, not a penny has been spent.” AAP MLA Harpal Cheema said: “Nearly Rs 70 lakh was sanctioned for renovating pond at Khanal Khurd village (Sangrur) in 2006, but not a brick is laid till date. The minister concerned has also not responded to the query.”


What they said...

We know that what we have done is not right, but we do not have any alternative. Besides creating stink in the village, the overflowing sewage has eroded the walls of our houses. — Nirmal Singh, youth leader, Ramuwala Dalianwali village

During my tenure as the head of the state pollution control board, we used to get disturbing reports about industrialists digging tubewells to dump waste. This one will be even worse. — Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Rural Development Minister

It is unfortunate to learn about sewage flowing into the earth. Our department recently prevented a similar digging in a Ludhiana village. We have written to the Rural Development Department and sought names of two villages in each block to allow installation of a workable project to treat sewers and make water fit for irrigation. — Kahan Singh Pannu, chairman, Punjab Pollution Control Board

COMMENTS

All readers are invited to post comments responsibly. Any messages with foul language or inciting hatred will be deleted. Comments with all capital letters will also be deleted. Readers are encouraged to flag the comments they feel are inappropriate.
The views expressed in the Comments section are of the individuals writing the post. The Tribune does not endorse or support the views in these posts in any manner.
Share On