The lackadaisical attitude of Chandigarh municipal corporation is forcing residents of SAS Nagar residing near the natural choe (N-choe), a stream that runs across the Leisure Valley in the city, to live amid the perpetual stink and unhygienic conditions for the past several months.
The sump built by the civic body in Sector 52 has been nonfunctional for the past couple of months due to lack of repairs. As a result sewage that is supposed to be routed to the treatment plant in Diggian village in Phase XI is flowing in the N-choe.
The stream originates from Chandigarh and passes through various parts of the city before reaching SAS Nagar.
The flow of sewage and other hazardous untreated waste into N-choe is playing havoc with the lives of residents in Phases VIII, IX, X and XI, Sectors 66 and 67 as well as in Chilla and Manauli villages in SAS Nagar.
However, when contacted, MC executive engineer Gupreet Singh said, “One motor at the Sector 52 sump is burnt.
Tenders for repairing it have yet to floated pending approval.” When asked why alternate arrangements had not been made by the civic body, he replied, “I don’t know anything about that but I’ll check with the subdivisional engineer.”
Last year, taking cognizance of the matter, an SAS Nagar court issued summons to the officials concerned including former MC chief engineer SS Bidda, public health department superintending engineer RC Diwan, executive engineer Gurpreet Singh and subdivisional engineer Jaspal Singh for violating Pollution Control Board regulations and releasing raw sewage into the N-choe.
The MC later filed a case in the Punjab & High Court and the case will come up for hearing on June 7. Lt Cdr (retd) Madan Lal Sharma, a resident of the Jal Vayu Vihar housing society in Sector 67, said: “Our life has become miserable owing to the constant stink.
Why has the MC not made alternative arrangements for pumping out sewage from the N-choe? We plan to meet the UT administrator in this regard soon.”
Inder jit Singh, a resident of Phase-9, said: “The stink from the sewerage cannot be explained in words. Nights especially have become intolerable”.
On other hand, the raw sewer effluent, which is supposed to reach the sewage treatment plants in Diggian village in Phase 11, which has a capacity of treating 45 million gallons per day (MGD) of sewage, is currently treating only 20 MGD.
Meanwhile, nominated councillor Surinder Bahga said the issue had been raised in the MC house earlier. “But we didn’t get any answers then,” he added.