In almost all the villages of the district, wastewater, which is finding its way into the ponds, is polluting them and rendering the water in the ponds unfit for use of any type. With no proper sewerage system, filthy water in street channels ends up in the ponds.
Only a small number of ponds in the villages are linked with the drains to empty the ponds. Hence, stagnant water in most ponds begins to stink after some time and thus pollutes the surrounding areas.
"There are three ponds in our village and the wastewater of the entire village with a population of about 7,000 is flowing into them. The water stinks so much, particularly in the summer season, that we find it very difficult to live in their neighborhood. The panchayat had also installed a pump to throw water from one of the ponds, but the project is almost a failure because another pond next to it is already filled and most of the farmers are reluctant to use its water for irrigation," says Vicky, a resident of Dhilwan Kalan village.
Similar is the condition of the ponds in Sibian village. "The sewage from the village falls into the ponds, but there are no means to drain out the dirty water from the ponds and clean them of the wild growth of weeds," said Sahib Singh, sarpanch of Sibian village.
"One of the ponds in the village is filled with silt and it is all covered with the growth of weeds," he added.
"There should be a proper system to empty the ponds. Water should either be used to irrigate the fields or it should be carried to a drain by laying pipes. We find it very difficult to live near the pond inside the village as water stinks and when it is full, water also overflows its banks," said Gurdev Singh, a resident of Sibian village.
Farmers use the pond water for irrigation with reluctance and only when there is shortage of water. They say that it stinks and they find it difficult to work in it and it also harmful for plants.
"We do not recommend the sewage water to be used for irrigation unless it is treated or tested. But, if ponds are filled with rainwater, it is useful for irrigation of crops. The villages may separately collect rainwater and sewage water in the ponds and use rainwater for irrigation," said Atma Singh Sidhu, chief agriculture officer, Faridkot.
"The polluted water in the ponds in most of the villages is leading to the pollution of environment, besides polluting the quality of subsoil water. The government must ensure that waste water is collected at separate ponds with a draining out facility. There can be separate ponds for conserving rainwater," said Kultar Singh Sandhwan, vice- president of the Bhai Kanahia Cancer Roko Society, Faridkot.
Block development and panchayats officer of Kotkapura Gurmail Singh could not be contacted. "I am in a function and call me later," he said. The post of DDPO is vacant in Faridkot.
Rural development and panchayats minister Sikander Singh Maluka had, in December last year, announced that the Punjab government would soon revive the ponds in nearly 13,000 villages.