A 10-km distributary of the Bist-Doab canal, renovated by the state government at a cost of Rs 7 crore few months ago, has turned into a garbage dumping site due to the apathy shown by the authorities.
The renovation work which commenced in 2013 concluded this year in January. The state government had sanctioned Rs 7 crore for the renovation and modernisation of the canal bed which was in shambles for the past few years.
However, even after the renovation work, the situation has not changed much. The area is strewn with garbage and emanates a foul smell, making it difficult for the people in the area. The water in the canal has turned muddy and with rains in the area, has turned into an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes.
An irrigation department official said the municipal corporation had assured in a meeting held two months back with the district administration that garbage dumps would be developed at various places adjoining the canal to keep the city's waste from polluting the canal water, but nothing has been done in this regard.
The official claimed the department had been repeatedly writing to the civic body to install garbage bins on the sides of the canal but nothing had been done till date. The department even recommended filing an FIR against people throwing garbage in the canal, but not a single case has been registered yet.
Amarjeet Singh, sub divisional officer, irrigation, said the Jalandhar municipal corporation had ignored their constant pleas of installing garbage bins alongside the canal and now, the situation had spiraled out of the department's control.
"The residents of the locality are also responsible for the menace as they throw garbage in the canal. We are trying to take appropriate steps to stop it," added Singh.
Meanwhile, due to rains, the situation has worsened. The waste thrown in the canal is producing a foul smell and also contributing to various water-borne diseases.
Harjinder Singh, assistant health officer of MC Jalandhar said the department was not aware of the dwindling condition of the canal and would soon conduct an inspection of the area to take the required steps.