Leaders of ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), including the ministers who organised the “Sadbhawna Rally” at Goindwal Sahib on Monday, failed to pay any attention towards the miserable condition of people residing in this religiously and historically important town, as it lacks the basic amenities.
Failed sewerage system, poor sanitation arrangements, non-availability of adequate medical facilities, sad state of education and illegal possession have enhanced the hardships being faced by the residents. Heaps of garbage, overflowing garbage bins and choked drains in various localities are a common site. The silt removed from sewer lines is not lifted from streets for days, causing inconvenience to commuters. There is no regular cleaning of drains in the area, which could be seen overflowing.
There is single primary health centre in the town having a population of more than 25,000. In the centre, there is single doctor, who is often found absent, as he is given assignments to other places as well. Lack of government medical care has given the private hospitals to exploit the condition, as they charge exorbitant fee for the facilities.
Poor sewerage system
“The sad state of sewerage system has created hell like conditions for the locals. The only sewerage project laid here has failed due to alleged negligence of the contractor and the government officials concerned,” said sources.
It is notable that few years back, the state government allotted crores of rupees for the sewerage system with the motive of giving beautiful look to the town founded by Guru Amardas ji. Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal himself inaugurated many development projects in this town.
Work of laying the sewerage system started in 2011. Sources said, contractor did not follow the norms and used pipes which weren’t ideal for the purpose. “The move of using small pipes was questioned at that time, but no government official and political leader paid attention to the raised objections,” they said.
As a result, the sewerage system became redundant due to flaws in it and was not even started. In some localities, including Malakke mohalla, where it managed to see light of the day, lasted only for few weeks and collapsed shortly.
“The dirty water can be seen overflowing from the drains. It remains stagnant on the streets. The water even enters inside the houses situated on lower level. The stagnant water keeps emanating foul smell and poses a threat of malaria, dengue and other such dangerous diseases to the residents. The sewage water is being diverted to an old drain, which also affects the purity of water being used at historical Sikh shrine Gurdwara Bauli Sahib,” said Varinder Singh, a resident.
A water treatment plant has also been established near Dhunda village but the site of the plant also presents a sad picture. The sewer water has not reached the plant so far, which is enough to expose functioning of administration.
Sorry state of education
As far education is concerned, there are 54 posts in the government school here, but only 20 of it have been filled. The science stream was started for class 11 and 12 and the infrastructure had also been laid, but due to the lack of teachers, no student has been admitted in this stream so far.
When contacted, Tarn Taran deputy commissioner Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal said the administration always gave priority to historical towns like Goindwal Sahib for development projects and if still there was any shortcoming in providing the amenities to the residents, the administration would look into it seriously.