The sewage water of the Industrial Focal Point, Kotkapura, spills on the roads of the area, 35 years after it was allowed to function, reportedly due to a technical problem with the railways department.
The area is yet to be connected with a sewerage system, even though deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal had announced a project worth over 5 crore to build roads and lay sewerage in February 2011. The project was started by the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) Chandigarh, and the work of building roads and laying sewerage pipes had been finished.
However, the officials concerned have not received clearance for joining the sewerage pipes to cross under the railway tracks at Kotkapura and join the main sewerage system of the town.
Consequently, there is no connectivity once the pipes reach up to the railway tracks. So, the sewage then spills over some unoccupied plots. Even a part of the town has also no sewage facility due to this problem.
"I had set up my factory here in 1978-79 and then there were few factories. So, the waste water (in small quantities) was either used by the farmers to irrigate the fields or stagnated on unoccupied plots. However, now there are many industrial units and there are a few unoccupied plots, so water has nowhere to go. The farmers have also stopped using the waste water/sewerage water. So it has nowhere to go now," says an industrialist.
"The government has been indifferent to our problem. New roads built last year did help in mitigating the problem a bit. Now, we have been told that the sewerage has not been connected to the main system of the town because the railways department has not given its clearance so far," he claimed.
The sewerage water is spilling on the newly built low-lying roads. The stretch near the regional office of PUNSEED has been badly damaged. The water works at the Focal Point also depicts a picture of utter neglect of the concerned department. Storage tanks are very old and full of weeds.
"Most of us do not like to use the water supplied by the water works at the focal point because of its condition. Sanitation is poor and tall weeds can be seen grown in the storage tanks. We have got our submersible pumps at the depth of about 500 feet. If we complain about water, the department starts sampling our water. How is the sample from the water works passed," alleged an owner of an industrial unit.
When contacted, deputy commissioner Faridkot Ravi Bhagat said, "I am taking up the matter with the government of India and the railways department to get the clearance to lay sewerage system under the railways tracks. Work will begin soon."
Sources claimed that the railways had not given its clearance, though the PSIEC has deposited the required amount and tendering for all the work had been finished.