Contaminated water in unforgiving weather leaves locals at wits’ end

  • Harshraj Singh, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • Updated: Jun 10, 2014 11:30 IST

Residents claim several complaints to the state’s department of water supply and sanitation had fallen on deaf ears. As a result, around 250 factories located in Industrial Estate and residents living there are a harried lot.

According to locals, the water pipes were installed underground in 1959, and had since developed cracks, leading to contamination of water.

But shockingly, people are forced to make do with muddy and discoloured water, even in the scorching heat, when demand for water is the most.

People complained that they were facing a lot of inconvenience these days, as they could not even wash their hands with this contaminated water.
While residents still can afford to buy clean water, though forcibly, majority of labourers, who reside in the quarters at the factories, have no other option. Even the filters installed in factories are unable to clean this water as per claims of the factory workers.

Randeep Singh, president of Ludhiana Estate Manufacturers’ Association, said, “This water is not even fit to wash hands or water plants. All our water filter devices have also failed. The rising mercury automatically increases the need of drinking water. Yet, authorities are not concerned about the appalling situation.”

He said the area fell under ward number 44, but the councillor was helpless as water was being supplied by the department of water supply and sanitation.

“The officials concerned have assured us many times, but they have failed to provide relief. As a result, labourers in around 250 factories continue to suffer,” Singh added.

A labourer, who works in a factory, said, “I stay here with my family. However, there is no provision of clean water, making survival difficult. The water is clearly contaminated and stinks. How can the authorities expect us to use this water? They have forced us to purchase packed water bottles.”

Locals have warned the authorities concerned that if a solution was not provided within two weeks, they would sit on hunger strike.

When contacted, Jaswinder Singh Chahal, executive engineer of department of water supply and sanitation, admitted that pipes had got damaged at several places due to which water was getting contaminated.

“We have made an estimate and sent it for approval. After sanctioning of estimate, we will install new pipes,” he added. However, he did not clarify when that would be.

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