LIT owes Rs 1 cr to sewerage board, residents fear worst
Residents of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar are living in fear of disconnection of water supply to their area since Ludhiana Improvement Trust is yet to clear Rs 1-crore dues of Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board, which maintains water supply and sewerages in LIT colonies.punjab Updated: Oct 30, 2012 22:48 IST
Residents of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar are living in fear of disconnection of water supply to their area since Ludhiana Improvement Trust is yet to clear Rs 1-crore dues of Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board, which maintains water supply and sewerages in LIT colonies.
The board had even issued a letter to LIT, warning that "if payments are not made by October 31, staff can stop work anytime after which water supply and sewerage services in the colony will be affected".
Interestingly, area residents are caught up between this LIT-board tussle even though they have already made payments for the service to LIT.
Arvind Sharma, a resident of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, said, "We were told through public announcements during night hours in August that water supply will be disconnected to the area, due to which residents got worried. We have made full payments to LIT and thus it is not our fault if the money has not been forwarded to the sewerage board. Why should residents pay for the negligence of LIT and live in constant fear of water supply disconnection anytime?"
Rohit Sabharwal, an RTI activist, added, "The tussle is between the LIT and sewerage board. Residents are not at fault. These two bodies have no right to harass residents. Who will be responsible for public harassment if LIT fails to pay sewerage board the dues by October 31?"
It is pertinent to mention here that after authorities got public proclamations made on August 31 that water supply would be discontinued, Arvind Sharma and Rohit Sabharwal filed RTI application to seek details of the matter. It was revealed that "Rs 86.60 lakh was pending till August 31 which was to be paid by LIT to sewerage board. The amount has since swelled to Rs 1 crore. Of this, Rs 18.36 lakh pertains to Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar area while the rest is with regards to other housing schemes of LIT maintained by sewerage board".
When contacted, A K Jindal, executive engineer, sewerage board, said, "It is true that the letter was issued to LIT for clearing pending dues by October 31. Even we are not in favour of discontinuing basic services since residents are not at fault. But if we do not give salaries to our employees, they can refuse to work and then we will be helpless. For the past many months, we have not paid our staff, which can create problem anytime."
Buta Ram, senior divisional officer, Ludhiana Improvement Trust, said, "We know residents are not at fault. We will ensure that at least half of the dues are given to the board by October 31."