After facing wrath of residents during the recently held Lok Sabha elections for not carrying development work in rural areas, the state government has come up with a project to remodel water ponds to give a clean look to villages.
For this, as many as 99 villages have been selected under the first phase of the project in the district for which an amount of Rs 7.17 crore has been sanctioned.
The project has been started in more than 17,000 villages across the state.
A senior official of rural development and panchayat department said a meeting was held on May 30 in Chandigarh, which district administrative heads and other officials attended.
He said the state government had submitted a proposal to the union ministry of drinking water and sanitation last year demanding funds and the finance commission had given its nod and cleared funds to start the project.
He said water stagnation in drains and ponds in villages breed mosquitoes, thus raising the risk of outbreak of diseases.
At present, work of remodeling of water ponds has been started in 33 villages, most of which fall in Jalandhar East, Jalandhar West, Rurka Kalan, Nurmahal, Phillaur, Nakodar, Adampur, Bhogpur, Adampur, Mehatpur, Lohian Khas and Shahkot blocks.
First, the ponds will be drained out into nearby vacant plot and then de-silted. Then, a pond land will be divided into four compartments.
District development and panchayat officer Avtar Singh Bhullar said, "The drainage water can be cleaned to some extent and it can be used for irrigation purposes."
Digging work at 33 ponds had been started, Bhullar said, adding that work on remaining 66 ponds would be started soon once it got completed.
This would help do away with the foul smell emanating from ponds and the adjacent land will be used for recreation purposes such as building parks.