For about three months now, several Hamirpur homes have been receiving muddy water which does not look fit for even washing clothes or utensils, let alone drinking.
Open any tap and out flows a suspiciously brown liquid along with silt, which no one would dare to drink.
“The quality of water that is being supplied has been abysmal. It looks so dirty that I cannot even use it for washing,” said a resident of Hamirpur.
The dirty water supply has led to rise in waterborne diseases in the town and its adjoining areas.
Locals say the supply of muddy water has led to a spurt in waterborne diseases and the department of irrigation-cum-public health is to be held responsible for the entire mess.
“In the absence of clean water, we can neither take bath nor drink water,” they added.
Water for the Hamirpur water supply scheme is lifted from Longni Mathan site of River Beas near Sujanpur.
The scheme was formulated at a cost of Rs 20 crore. At that time, it was said neat and clean water would be supplied to the people twice a day. However, the supply was restricted to once in a day.
A new scheme to augment the town's water supply scheme was also formulated during the previous BJP regime and accordingly tenders were floated. However, those tenders were cancelled after the new government came to power due to various reasons known to the authorities.
Sources in the department of irrigation-cum-public health said filter bed at the Longni Mathan site had broken and the sand for filtering the water was not available with the department.
Sources said a tender had been called for the supply of sand from Jhansi. However, the contractor, who was to supply the sand, submitted another sample of sand and that sample failed in the laboratory of the department, thereby delaying the process for the filtration of the water for the scheme.
Vijay Dhatwalia, executive engineer of the public health department, admitted that the town was getting muddy water. He said the department was filtering the water with alum as the water filter system was not functioning properly.
He said the department was making efforts to provide neat and clean drinking water.
Sushil Sharma, president of the Hamirpur district consumer's sangh, expressed shock over the supply of raw and muddy water to the people of the town.
In a statement issued here on Wednesday, he said if this was the condition of Hamirpur town, what would be the fate of people of other parts of the district, who were also getting water from the same river without any proper filtration facilities.
Sharma said if the department failed to provide them neat and clean water, the sangh would take up the issue with the state government and the district consumer's forum to get justice.