The Bathinda branch of the Sirhind canal bears an ugly look these days with garbage floating in it and the civic authorities turning a blind eye to the issue.
Garbage can be seen floating in the branch at different locations near the city over the about 5-km stretch of the canal that passes from near the city.
The canal was dry till Sunday evening and water was released into the canal on Sunday night. When the water was released into it, all the solid waste dumped into the canal began to float on the water.
The residents and shopkeepers in the locality rued that there was no check on throwing solid waste into the canal. "Neither the municipal corporation (MCB) nor the canal lining department has bothered to put up any signboards along the canal urging people not to throw garbage into it," rued residents.
A shopkeeper, whose shop is situated near the canal, on a road leading to Paras Ram Nagar and adjoining localities, Raj Pal Sharma, said: "We witness the pathetic condition of the canal everyday. One can easily spot people throwing garbage into it in the morning and evening time, but nobody is there to stop these people."
He said that the area, being on the outskirts of the city, has been neglected by the civic authorities so the people throw waste into the canal without any fear. Besides this, a large number of people also dump the waste material of religious ceremonies after performing puja, havans etc.
Another shopkeeper Ram Dhan near the place said, "Water of the canal is supplied for drinking purpose. And, the people should themselves stop from this bad practice of throwing waste into the canal, which makes the canal water dirty. The administration should take stringent action against the people throwing garbage into the canal and should launch an awareness drive."
Meanwhile, superintendents engineer (SE), MCB, BD Singla, said, The Swachh Bharat Campaign has already been launched and the people should themselves know that they shouldn't throw garbage into the canal. He, however, said canal water is treated properly before being supplied as drinking water, but even then the people should not throw garbage into it and action should be taken against defaulters.
Though, the canal is not managed by the MCB, yet the authorities can resort to taking stringent action against the people throwing garbage into the canal and the only solution to the problem, he said, was to impose a hefty fine for this and installing close circuit television cameras to catch garbage-throwers.