Over 3,000 residents of Lohatbadhi dalit colony and Nangal Basti of Lopo village under Nihal Singh Wala subdivision in the district have been facing a huge shortage of drinking water for the last two years.
They have no alternative but to use water of some hand pumps in the area also, whose water has been declared unfit for human consumption, thus exposing themselves to various water-borne diseases.
Besides, to meet the shortage of drinking water, most of the residents have also resorted to illegal way of digging holes to turn them into water tanks to store water stolen from underground water pipelines by puncturing them. This practice has been leading to contamination of water in pipelines.
Ravinder Singh Ravi, local Congress leader and panchayat member, told Hindustan Times that over 2,000 residents of Lohatbadhi colony and about 1,000 residents of Nangal Basti have been facing shortage of drinking water for the last two years and have no choice but to use polluted water from hand pumps.
Baldev Singh Lopo, district vice-president of Kirti Kisan Union, alleged that reverse osmosis (RO) water filtration plants are of no use for them. During the summer, the problem gets aggravated.
Sarpanch Kaka Singh of Lopo village said, “The public health department had set up three waterworks in different areas of the village and panchayat is controlling these waterworks. But many villagers are also responsible for their plight as they never pay water bills, and prefer to use water lifted illegally.”
According to information, to get to underground water, people have dug up holes outside their homes and puncture the main pipeline running below, all for a little more volume of water than the trickle in their taps.
Most families, are yet to pay their fine for fitting pumps to steal water from supply lines, so the authorities concerned have declined to act on their complaints.
Arshdeep Singh Thind, deputy commissioner, said, "I had written to the government to look into the problem.”