Even as the Municipal Corporation Jalandhar (MCJ) has set up several tubewells in a rush to supply adequate drinking water in the city following a lot of hue and cry over the issue, not even a single chlorination dozer has been installed so far to ensure quality water to residents. There are more than 400 tubewells in the city but none of these have a working chlorination dozer installed in them, a feature mandatory as per the government guidelines.
As per the Punjab Municipal Infrastructure Development Company (PMIDC) guidelines it is necessary for all civic bodies to install chlorinators or bleaching dozers on every tubewell to provide potable water.
These guidelines were issued by the government to all the urban local bodies after the Batala incident when more than 40 people died due to contamination of water supplied to the locality leading to an outbreak of gastroenteritis.
Contrary to the government's guidelines, the MCJ is using ad-hoc measures to chlorinate water which may lead to outbreak of water-borne diseases.
Despite having a history of water-borne diseases breaking out in and around the city, especially during the rainy season, the civic body has failed to learn any lesson from the past and is playing with the people's lives.
As per information gathered by Hindustan Times the civic body is not having any check over the quality of water being supplied to the residents.
MC commissioner Manpreet Singh Chattwal said, "During a recently held meeting with the higher authorities and contractors who have installed chlorination dozers in Chandigarh we came to the conclusion that this method is not effective in providing clean water."
"A major fault occurs when drinking water gets mixed with sewage. Due to leakage in pipes and connections, water gets contaminated," he said.
AS Dhaliwal, chief engineer, operation and maintenance (O&M) branch, said, "It is mandatory for all the civic bodies to install dozers on every tubewell, as contaminated water is only the major source of spreading serious water-borne diseases."
"Even the government has issued guidelines to all the civic bodies in which it has been strictly mentioned to install chlorinator dozers on every tubewell," he maintained.
He said water-borne would continue to break out every rainy season till the civic body did not adopt safety measures to provide potable water. A dozer costs more than Rs. 50,000 and it would have to spend in crores it starts installing dozers on every tubewell. Sources said the civic body did not have sufficient funds to spend on installing dozers on every tubewell.