Residents of Nawan Pind Bhathe village have been forced to live in perpetual stink and under virtual 'house arrest' as the village turns all muddy and is full of slush, even after a light drizzle. More than 150 households are suffering as the government has pleaded that it has no funds to construct roads in the village.
A resident Tarsem Singh told HT: “ Previously, we suffered as streets were dug up for construction of the sewerage, which took three months. When the sewerage was complete, the sarpanch claimed that there were no funds. Since then, we are suffering for no fault of ours.
There is mud and slush everywhere. Sometimes, the mud also enters our homes,” he added.
Another resident Gurdip Kaur says, “Things are very tough for all of us. However, school children suffer the most, as their uniform gets dirty while on their way to schools. Teachers then scold them and they are scared to divulge the reason.” She added that their relatives avoided them because of the mud-filled roads.
“We have asked older children to carry little school kids, while using the path so that their shoes and uniforms are not soiled,” said Paramjit Kaur.
“Driving a two-wheeler can be fatal here, not due to traffic but due to the muddy roads. Even rickshaw pullers refuse to enter and sometimes the old and the ill have to walk more than 300 meters to their homes,” said another resident Narinder Singh.
The village, 4 km from Kapurthala, on the Goindwal Sahib road is populated mainly with the Scheduled Caste population. Besides a primary school, no other facility is available in the village.
When contacted, sarpanch Joginder Kaur said that the village had received a grant of Rs. 9 lakh for laying underground sewerage and roads in 2011. “By the time, we completed the work, the funds had been used. In fact, villagers had to pool in an additional Rs. 25,000 then. Since then, we even approached authorities, but nothing resulted.”