Once considered sources of clean water, ponds in many villages in Faridkot district nowadays have become the bane for residents who discharge their wastewater into these water bodies in the absence of proper sewerage.
The sewage and rainwater from villages drain into these village ponds, creating stink that not only leads to unhealthy conditions for those living in the vicinity but also damaging houses on their periphery.
Villagers living near ponds often complain of foul smell emanating from stagnant sewage and wastewater. Overflowing pond water many a times enters adjoining houses during rainy seasons, leading to financial losses for harried villagers.
Neither anyone seems to care for maintaining cleanliness of ponds, nor take into consideration the flow of water whenever the network of street channels or sewerage in villages is devised/planned.
"There is no proper drainage for our village pond. It is damaging my house. The pond water has caused cracks in the walls of my house which I am still to get repaired," rued Baldev Raj of Chahal village near Faridkot.
"There are four ponds in our village. All the wastewater of the village runs into these ponds but these cannot be emptied. Two overflowing ponds damage village houses while two others overflow into the fields. We want underground drainage to be laid from the village to a drain about 6 km away from our village. But it costs too much. The Punjab government must think about this problem," said Balbir Singh, sarpanch of Sibian village, 10 km from Kotkapura.
Villagers living along a pond in Dhilwan Kalan complained of unbearable stink from stagnant water. "During hot days, stink from the stagnant pond water is spread far and wide by wind. The stink is unbearable for those living along the pond," complained Raju and Harmail Singh of Dhilwan Kalan.
"Village pond water is an important resource. Ponds should not be polluted in any way. Rather, sewerage generated in villages should be properly disposed of. We should try to save ponds and pond water," maintained Darshan Singh, a former sarpanch of Dhilwan Kalan.
It was learnt that the village panchayat had made arrangements to pump out pond water for irrigation purpose. Though infrastructure exists, farmers do not use this water on the pretext that the pond water is unfit for irrigation.
"The only solution left for disposing of the stinking pond water is to channel it through underground pipes to a drain about 3 km from the village," said Mantar Singh Sodhi, the present sarpanch's husband and a member of Zila Parishad. "We however want funds for this purpose," he demanded.
"Similar problems exist in many villages since waste water from toilet gets collected in ponds. It is a big problem," admitted Jaswinder Singh of Dhilwan Kalan. "I think this is the reason why farmers do not use this water for irrigation since they have to work in the fields," he added.
Faridkot deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat could not be contacted for comments on the matter.