Several residents of Quila Naoun village whose sarpanch was arrested on Sunday on charges of theft of power for village waterworks have expressed resentment over the police move.
The sarpanch, Sukhjinder Singh, landed in jail after he allegedly stole electricity to connect the pump to supply 24-hour water to the village waterworks.
The local residents, however, said the village had no proper drinking water supply for one year. Several villagers reached the district headquarters on Tuesday to lodge protest against the sarpanch’s arrest.
The Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) had asked the sarpanch to complete the formalities to get proper connection for the waterworks as per rules on May 20 as it had found the connection illegally connected. The sarpanch is now in 14-day judicial custody.
“We were not getting regular drinking water supply for a long time. The underground water is not fit for consumption and even cattle do not drink it. Most of the villagers had to fetch drinking water from the handpumps installed on the premise of the waterworks or somewhere else. We have now been getting drinking water regularly for about 10 days,” said Bikkar Singh, a resident of the village.
“Earlier, the waterworks was getting canal water from a nearby water distributary through an open channel. But it was a headache. The water would get dirty while running in the channel. The supply would also get choked. Most of the time, water supply was irregular and insufficient,” said Kartar Singh and Sher singh, engaged in cleaning water filters on the waterworks premises. The panchayat has now laid an underground pipeline to fetch canal water.