Even as the SAD-BJP government entered it second year of its second term on Thursday, it still has unkempt promises to keep from its first term. Thirteen poor families of Chak Ramoo village are waiting for toilets to be constructed, promised to them in writing by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, during the last regime of SAD-BJP government. This reporter went to village and talked with aggrieved families on Thursday.
Kuldeep Singh, 55, who works as a daily wager said, "It is very sad that local officials of Nawanshahr have not been obeying the orders of deputy chief minister, even after he had sent us letters more than two years ago."
He added: "We are poor people and are struggling to arrange three meals for us. How can we construct toilets for us."
Earlier, his wife Darshan Kaur (50) mistook this reporter as a 'government official', who had visited the house with regard to the contruction of toilets. She exhibited the deputy CM's letter.
Jaswinder Kaur, 38, of another family said, "We have borrowed money and constructed a toilet." She claimed that her husband worked as a lawyer and they were now paying back the loan with grave difficulty.
Gagandeep Kaur, 10, daughter of Kaur said that she had called up at the number mentioned on the promise letter, but there was no response.
Sarbjeet Ram, 28, expressed anguish at the matter and claimed that even as they were forced to answer the nature's call in the open, land owners also tend to throw them out.
Speaking with Hindustan Times, village sarpanch Harwinder Singh Mander said, "I have been calling officials of water and sanitation department in this regard but no avail. The officials have conducted surveys, but toilets were yet to be constructed."
He alleged that for a long time after the promise, the funds were not released by the government. After the funds were released, the treasury had not been giving clearance, which was surprising since the deputy CM had ordered the construction.
Deputy commissioner Tanu M Kashyap said, "This issue is not in my mind and I will be able to comment only after i query my officers."
Executive engineer (water and sanitation) Amarjeet Singh said, "Funds of Rs. 86.74 lakh to construct latrines for the 13 families of Chak Ramoo village, have been received. However, the treasury department is yet to clear the amount for the past few months."