Agitated over failure of Jalandhar Municipal Corporation (MC to ensure proper supply of drinking water for past over 15 days, the residents of Suchi Pind village on Saturday held an ‘empty buckets’ protest outside city mayor Sunil Jyoti’s residence.
Meanwhile, Jyoti came out of his house to receive the agitating residents, who rued that civic body miserably failed to make proper alternate arrangements to feed them. Jyoti listened to their grievances and assured them of positive action.
“The underground water table level in the village has gone down from existing 160 feet. This led to failure of the tubewell, meant for pumping the potable water for further supply among the residents through underground pipes. There is acute water shortage in the village. The mayor assured us of permanent solution on various occasions, but to no avail,” Gurinder Singh, Such Pind BJP president, said.
Surinder Kaur, BJP mahila mandal president, criticised the civic body for delay in resolving the issue in past two weeks. “The villagers are compelled to fetch water from other areas by crossing over the railway line.
Yesterday, five children along with two women had a miraculous escape, as they “just” crossed over the rail line before train could pass on the track. The children are still feeling terrorised due to the incident. The poor people like us are left with no option but to even to put our life at risk just for a bucket of water,” Kaur alleged, adding that life was virtually out of gear.
She alleged that though the politicians usually make promises of providing best of civic amenities during elections, but they did not bother to resolve even genuine problems of the voters.
The residents alleged that they were made to pay for water tankers being arranged as alternative in place of MC water supply. “We cannot pay Rs 25 per day for the purchased water. The MC should immediately install a new tubewell,” Charanjit Kaur alleged. “Even the residents having their own submersible pump water supply are now shirking from sharing their water with us on the pretext that they cannot feed us indefinitely. We are in real mess,” she alleged, demanding immediate solutions.
Later, the residents held a meeting with the mayor and civic body officials at his residence. Jyoti admitted that water shortage and depleting groundwater table are serious issues. “Over 70% of the village residents are getting proper water supply through MC tubewell, which is currently not working at its optimum efficiency level due to depleting ground water level. Subsequently, we have installed a new submersible pump to extract more water, but of no avail. Now, we are planning to install a new submersible pump at 150 feet of the ground level. It’s a trial. We are hopeful,” he said.
Mayor said that he had also asked the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board officials to install a new tubewell in the village so as the problem could be fixed permanently.