Residents of at least three villages around the Jamsher dairy complex are living a miserable life, with no proper drainage system for the waste released by hundreds of dairy units.
The Municipal Corporation Jalandhar had relocated various dairy units to Jamsher village, located on the outskirts of Jalandhar, in 1999 to lessen the burden of animal waste in the heart of the city.
There is no sewerage for the outlet of waste that mainly includes dung of more than 14,000 milch animals in 250 dairy units operating in the complex spread over 50 acres of land.
A visit to Jamsher, Nanak Pindi and Phoriwal villages reveals the waste that piled over for years at the complex poses a major threat to agricultural fields and people residing nearby.
“Dirty water enters our houses when there is even a small rain. Our life has turned hell because of these dairy units. People shy away from us as our village is full of dung stink. You cannot stay here for a minute,” said Parkash Kaur, a resident.
Not only this, local residents are also becoming more disease-prone.
“These villages are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. We have to keep the fan on even during winters to ward off mosquitoes. Our children are developing serious ailments due to this but nobody is listening to us,” said Surjit Kaur, Nanak Pindi sarpanch.
Nanak Pindi residents said after a heavy rain mud and filth enters several villages and farmers have to protect their potatoes and wheat fields by raising kutcha embankments.
It is very difficult to move around, they said.
Local Congress leader Jagbir Brar, who took mediapersons to visit these villages on Monday, accused the state government and the local MLA Pargat Singh of compelling the local residents to live under such conditions.
“No one is ready to the listen to the villagers’ plight. Dairies are openly flouting norms by releasing water in the open. The residents of these areas are compelled to live in subhuman conditions created by dairy units. They dairy owners are doing this in connivance with the local administration,” said Brar.
When these dairy units relocated here, the government had promised to set up a treatment plant, but nothing concrete has happened in this regard till date.
In February last year, local MLA Pargat Singh had also laid the foundation stone for laying sewer pipes in the area, but nothing has been done as of now.
When contacted, Pargat Singh acknowledged the gravity of the problem saying that he has raised the issue at various platforms with the government.
“I even got sanctioned Rs 1.05 crore to lay sewer pipes in these villages but due to wrong project report submitted by some MC officials the project did not be initiated. They did not include the component of picking dung from the dairies. We are also going to start bio-gas plant since the problem in the area is due to animal dung which diary owners release in the fields,” said Pargat.
Local veterinary officer Malkiat Singh said, “We ask the dairy owners not to release dung mixed with water in the open, but to no avail.”