The SAD-BJP government’s haste to lay sewerage network in villages of the district to woo voters has come under criticism from the representatives of village panchayats, who are objecting to the use of “cheap material besides other irregularities” in the execution of the work.
During a visit to Bakshiwala village of Sunam assembly segment being represented by finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa, it was found that substandard and broken cemented pipes are being used for sewerage. Villagers said in haste, the contractors have violated the norms as they did not create required slope in the 5-km sewerage line.
Besides, the broken pipes are being used for the project and the outdated pipes, bearing ISI mark, are without the mandatory 7-digit licence number as per the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) requirements.
Moreover, sources claimed that the state gover nment did not release the required funds for this project. “We are not satisfied with the work. It is likely that sewerage will get blocked in a few days as cheap material has been used.
But we cannot raise this issue,” said a representative of a village panchayat, on the condition of anonymity. Ranjeet Singh Shergill, XEN, panchayati raj, denied that broken pipes were used in the project, saying, “The pipes might have broken due to negligence of laboruers.”
He added that, “We are purchasing pipes from ISI-approved companies and I am sure that the project will work without any problem.” Asked about the funds, he said, “Though a small amount has been issued, most work is being done under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and more funds will be released after the polls.”
Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party has sought action against the “erring” officer accusing him of misleading the people to seek vote for the ruling party in the Lok Sabha elections. In a written communiqué to the chief electoral officer, the party has demanded the investigation of the work.
When HT tried to contact the director-cum-special secretary, rural development and panchayats, it was found that the officer has been shifted and no other officer has taken the charge yet.