Owing to the alleged indifferent attitude of the village panchayat and department of water supply and sanitation, a water works at Bhana village, with a population of over 4,500, is lying useless for years, if the locals are to be believed.
Though the department has added some new infrastructure by building one more storage tank, a supply tank and some water filters to cater to the rising need for drinking water, it has apparently failed to extend any benefit to the locals.
The two storage tanks on the premises of water works in the village are completely dry, belying the claims of the authorities concerned that some water supply is being provided to the villagers.
The water works was built on the panchayat land many years ago. However, as the facility was handed over to the village panchayat, it remained of little use allegedly due to political groupism and lack of sincerity on part of the panchayat, the locals alleged. “The water works has been non-operational for many years as due to the political groupism the panchayat took little interest in running it,” claimed Joginder Singh, an old man living close to the water works.
He said, “The collection of water bills has also been a problem in the village. Though the work to build a tank at the point where the canal water is sourced is said to have started now, the pace of work is irregular. We have little hope of it becoming functional this summer season.”
The watchman posted at the water works died a month ago and there is nobody to look after it now, Joginder said, adding that, “Local boys come to spend their free time on the premises of the water works and create problem for us.”
The sub-soil water in the village is reportedly very bad and unfit for human consumption. One RO (reverse osmosis) system has been installed, but it only provides limited relief to the villagers.
Most underprivileged people cannot afford to have their personal RO system installed.
“The sub-soil water pumped out by hand pumps is unfit for consumption of milch animals and other purposes such as bathing or washing clothes as it does not clear the soap,” said a local.
As per new sarpanch of the village, Balwant Singh, “The water works has been lying closed for 10 to 12 years now. We have approached the authorities concerned to seek completion of the work of construction of a water tank to source canal water. The panchayat has promised the department concerned to pay the outstanding power dues once the water works is made functional.”
SK Grover, executive engineer, water supply and sanitation department, Faridkot, said, “There was some problem in getting land for the construction of water tank, but that has been solved now. We have allotted the work to the contractor and it would be completed soon. The water works was handed over to the village panchayat, which was supposed to look after it. The villagers are drawing some supply now as well.”