The Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board has said that it would discontinue all maintenance works in Nawanshahr city, if the Nawanshahr municipal council (NMC) failed to deposit it pending dues of Rs 50 lakh with the board. The amount, under the head, annual maintenance charges, has been pending for more than five years.
The board had previously decided to withdraw its services by June 25, but after the intervention of deputy commissioner Tanu M Kashyap, it decided to postpone any such action till July 4.
On the DC's order, the MC did pay Rs 2 lakh to the board on Monday. However, the board officials called it a joke and said that the full dues of Rs 50 lakh must be paid soon.
In a letter on June 10, 2013 (a copy with Hindustan Times) to NMC's executive officer, the board had said that the work was related with water supply and sewage and was dependent upon regular deposit of funds by the council.
The letters reads that council has not deposited Rs 42.95 till March 31, 2013 this year and till May 31, the Rs 50 lakh had been pending.
The letter added that the total expenditure on maintenance works of water supply and sewage was Rs 1.17 crore over the past five years, but the MC had given only Rs 67.59 lakh to the board, which was really surprising and alarming. The document further mentioned that higher officials had taken it very seriously and local officers of board, who supervised these works in city, are being held responsible for non-recovery of amount from council.
In the letter, SDE (water supply and sewage) Gurtej Singh wrote that without recovery of pending amount of Rs 50 lakh from council, it would not be possible for the board to run various schemes. The sewage board also requested the DC and the deputy director (local bodies) to ask council to deposit Rs 50 lakh immediately for continuance of various schemes in city otherwise, the council will be held responsible for non-functioning of these schemes.
The board also wrote to the SSP to depute some force to help in maintain law and order in the city, if any such situation arose due to the discontinuation of maintenance of water supply and sewage.
Speaking with Hindustan Times, Gurtej said that the board had been supervising the functioning of nine water tube wells and around 80 km of sewage pipeline in the city. He said that the MC did not even answer any letter sent by him in this regard.
"The board has asked to MC to pay remaining amount of Rs 48 lakh till July 3, otherwise, maintenance work will have to be discontinued."
When contacted, MC executive officer Surjeet Singh claimed that he was busy in election duty and asked the reporter to contact him after some time.