The issue of contaminated water supply in Raikot has been haunting the residents for years but despite making promises, the politicians have done nothing in this direction so far, say area residents.
Due to this, people are forced to consume contaminated water which leads them to sickness.
According to the Raikot residents, the candidates of the ruling SAD-BJP as well as other parties made this issue their main agenda during last elections to lure voters, but the problem continues to hassle them.
A registered medical practitioner, Dr Harvinder Singh Lali, said, "A lot of patients suffering from diarrhoea come to me for treatment, even when it is not rainy season. They fall sick due after consuming contaminated water. 90% of the cases I receive are diarrhoea patients. This problem may turn into an epidemic if not taken care of."
Besides, waterlogging and faulty drainage system add to the residents' woes. The situation goes from bad to worse during rainy season as the streets here look like canals.
The only pond that was used for water drainage was sold out to a community by the government. After that no municipal council has ever taken interest to make a proper drainage system for the Raikot area.
People don't have garbage dumping zone here so throw the garbage in the vacant plots in the colony. The only park in Raikot city- Shaheed Bahagt Singh Park- has been converted into a dumping zone by the people. "Our children don't have any space to play, the only park here remains dumped with cow dungs or garbage,"said Harminder Singh, a resident who lives near Shaheed Bhagat Singh Park.
Dilapidated roads, broken electricity poles, lack of bus facilities for students, stray dogs residing near the slaughter house, who pose threat to the people, are the other problems which the residents of Raikot confront on daily basis.
Amrinder Singh Gill, former council president, SAD, said, "Water contamination and sewerage are the major problems. We have got approval for funds to lay down sewerage in the entire area. We will get it done if given a chance after elections."
The people of Raikot are forced to drink contaminated water. This problem hassles the residents of many areas falling under the municipal council. People are falling sick due to this. The water supplied to us turns yellow and gives a foul smell. As the sewage is getting mixed with the drinking water supply, diarrhoea cases are increasing.
No proper drainage
Light shower is enough to make roads in Raikot look like mini lakes because of improper drainage system. The old area of the city is lying low compared to the newly built areas and thus in absence of proper drainage system, the water from other areas collect in lowlying parts of the town.
Open drains can be seen in this area, which remain choked most often. The town has only one park which is also flooded with garbage dumps. The municipal council has never taken care of this park, say area residents.
Those entering Raikot through Malerkotla road are welcomed by broken and waterlogged roads. The people allege that even the newly constructed roads were broken hardly after a month, leaving the passers-by peeved.
Those commuting towards Jagraon road in the dark, remain fearful as stray dogs are known for attacking people here. There is a slaughter house near Mullanpur road and when it is closed in the evening, the dogs come to the roads and attack people. They have attacked several people in the past.
The water being supplied to the residents is not potable as it stinks and is yellow in colour. This issue hasn't been resolved despite having complaint several times in the past. I want municipal council to ensure pure drinking water supply to the residents, which is our basic right.
Dr Gurmail Singh, ward number 3 resident
I want bus facilities for college going girls to be increased. There is no higher educational institute in Raikot so my daughter has to go to Ludhiana. Most of the buses plying on the route don't accept the bus pass, so the students have to spend a hefty amount on fares. Government should provide facilities to the college going students.
Harbans Kaur, resident
Poor water drainage system has made our life hell. We can't go out on roads in the rainy season. Water even enters in the houses and many people were forced to lift their house base due to this. I run a boutique and everytime it rains I have to shut my shop because of waterlogging.
Krishan Lal, resident, ward number 14
Even the main roads of the area are in dilapidated condition. Potholes leave a bad impression on everyone, who visits the area. It has impacted our business too, because of the broken and waterlogged roads, people at times avoid visiting our shops, even though these are on main roads.
Rakesh Khanna, shopkeeper on Malerkotla road
Council needs to improve water supply, sewerage and drainage system immediately as the absence of these things will make people sick in Raikot. Whenever someone complains, the issue of his or her locality is resolved but that is not the permanent solution. The whole system needs to be checked to identify the problem of water contamination and drainage system.
Yashpal Jain, General Merchant Association president