For decades, no government has ever tried to keep its promise of laying sewerage in all parts of the town despite repeated promises, say locals. As of now, most parts of the town do not have proper sewerage. Only some parts like Dogar Basti and Balbir Basti have the facility, which was laid years ago. Some other parts have partial sewerage but most of the town is without the facility.
Locals have to suffer during the rainy days, when, due to non-existence of sewerage, streets are flooded by overflowing sewers.
"Harindra Nagar is one of the very old localities of the town but so far we have failed to get proper sewerage here. I have been living here since 1980 and drawing attention of all the elected representatives from time to time. They made promises to us, but none were kept," said Joginder Singh Brar, advocate and former standing counsel of government of India.
Faridkot was represented by Parkash Singh Badal in 1977, then by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and many other influential families, but sewerage was never laid in the town though every politician promised to do it, added Brar.
He said all development works take place only on political considerations. "Politicians might think that Harindra Nagar is too big an area to lay sewerage, but its population is only less than 5,000. Several influential families also live here," Brar claimed.
In Bajigar Basti also, there are open sewers at places and sometimes they seem to lead nowhere, he said, adding that water finally spills over the semi-pucca streets. "There is no sewerage in place here. The small draining channels run along the streets and get choked by poly bags and when it rains there is a big problem for residents of Bajigar Basti, where a large number of economically-backward people live," said a resident of Bajigar Basti.
Similar is the situation at many other localities in the town. "The town does not have a proper sewerage and it is a big problem. A very old sewerage exists in some old localities and most parts of the town, which came into existence as population increased and urbanisation took place. Different governments have failed to provide amenities to people," said Narinderjeet Singh Brar, a teacher in government Brijindra college, Faridkot, and also a local.
With the increase in population, water consumption has also increased. Instead of letting water go waste, it should be used for irrigation purpose by laying sewerage and setting up a sewage treatment plant, Narinderjeet added.
"The non-existence of sewerage in the town also pollutes groundwater. Most human waste in poor households is disposed unscientifically in open pit toilets at the depth of 20 to 25 feet while at many places, water is drawn by handpumps from shallow depths. In the absence of proper sewerage, open sewers cause many infectious diseases," say Pritpal Singh, a Faridkot resident.
"The town, which is very old and had been a princely state, is in the dire need of proper sewerage. The SAD-BJP government, which is claiming to be doing development works, must provide the town with this basic facility of sewerage, which would help keep the town clean," said Surinder Gupta, president of district Congress committee.
"A `83-crore project has been approved by the government to lay new sewerage in all parts of the town. The deputy chief minister had also promised to ensure drinking water and sewerage to people of Faridkot at Baba Farid Mela on Monday. The foundation of the new sewerage would be laid soon when the dates are convenient to the chief minister or deputy CM. I am trying my best to get the project started as soon as possible," said Deep Malhotra, Faridkot MLA.