A three-member committee headed by Chandigarh municipal corporation additional commissioner Lalit Siwach has found that nearly 60% of chlorinators installed at tube wells in southern sectors of the city are defunct for the past three years.
The committee, which submitted its report to MC commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh on Thursday, pointed out that 46 of the 76 chlorinators were totally non-functional, resulting in supply of unchlorinated water to southern sectors.
The MC commissioner had set up the probe panel after Hindustan Times highlighted the issue on September 4.
The report also highlighted how the companies allotted the work to run and maintain these 76 chlorinators last month had refused to take charge since they were lying defunct.
As per the terms and conditions of allotment of the work, chlorinators were to be handed over to companies in working condition. However, a survey got conducted by the companies not only pointed out that more than 50 chlorinators were completely non-functional, but also that electrical starters, motors and brass valves of chorine cylinders were missing. Even fittings were found missing in certain cases.
It is pertinent to mention here that public money to the tune of Rs 50 lakh was spent on the installation of chlorinators at about 50 tube wells in 2009. As per the contract entered into by authorities in 2009, the company that installed the chlorinators was to maintain these for two years. However, the work was not done.
Last month, the public health wing of the MC had again floated a tender for the installation of new chlorinators at about 76 tube wells and earmarked nearly Rs 45 lakh for the same.
Commenting on the probe panel's findings, BJP councillor Satinder Singh said, "Now, it is officially proved that the public health wing of the MC is playing with the lives of the common man. This shows its insensitivity towards the city residents. It is a serious issue and we will demand a vigilance probe into issue during the House meeting on September 28."
At least eight people lost their lives and nearly 2,000 cases of diarrhoea were reported in June this year in Mauli Jagran, due to supply of contaminated water due to non-functional chlorinators.
On March 11, nearly 100 cases of diarrhoea and gastroenteritis were reported from economically weaker section (EWS) colony in Sector 38 West, again due to contaminated water supplied from tube well in the area.