Potable water remains a pipe dream for residents of Panchkula’s Chauki village

Updated on Mar 22, 2022 08:51 AM IST

Residents of Chauki village near Panchkula have been forced to drink contaminated water for a long time now, resulting in health concerns including skin rashes and mouth ulcers

Residents of the Chauki village near Panchkula continue to await the setting up of a tube well to ensure supply of potable water. (Sant Arora/HT)
Residents of the Chauki village near Panchkula continue to await the setting up of a tube well to ensure supply of potable water. (Sant Arora/HT)
By, Panchkula

Residents of Chauki village have been forced to drink contaminated water being pumped out of their tube well. Villagers have lodged several complaints to the authorities, who have allegedly not paid any heed to the issue.

The village, which has over 350 houses, is located around two kilometres from Panchkula city. Residents complain their struggle for potable water has persisted for the last eight years.

Varied health concerns, skin rashes and mouth ulcers have also become commonplace among residents because of the continued use of the contaminated water.

“Ulcers in the mouth are very common. We always keep mouth gel with us, but the ulcers keep reappearing because of

the endless cycle of contaminated water supply,” Banarsi Das, an elderly villager, who has been raising the issue for months now said.

He added that the villagers had stopped going to the doctor for minor health issues like mouth ulcers and rashes because of their sheer frequency.

Shiv Charan Singh, another villager, said, “For the last eight years, we have been suffering due to absence of clean drinking water. The tubewell, from where the water is being supplied to the village, is supplying contaminated water.”

“We are forced to bring water tankers and those who cannot pay, have to manage with the water from the tube well,” he added.

He said the situation is similar in the nearby Murthal village as well, while adding that one of the villagers went as far as donating land to the public health department for setting up a tubewell, but no progress has been made.

Kirpal Singh, 65, who returned from a nearby village carrying drinking water said, “The tubewell of the village is 30-35 years old, its filters have been destroyed. It is supplying brown-coloured water, full of dirt.”

“This water has a foul smell. You cannot stand near the tubewell so imagine using the water at home,” he said, adding that the situation had worsened in the last two years.

Old Panchkula public health dispensary’s Dr Rishi said he had not come across such cases in large numbers.

Officials offer flimsy excuses: Residents

Villagers alleged that the irrigation and public health department officials, who are responsible for ensuring the proper water supply, have visited the area, but no concrete decision has been conveyed to them regarding the installation of a new tubewell.

When questioned, Panchkula MLA and Haryana state assembly speaker Gian Chand Gupta said no one had approached him with any complaint. “But I have looked into the matter. The problem has been noted and a new tubewell will be installed in the coming days.”

Speaking about the long delay in the installation, he said, “Earlier, a machine was installed, but it did not function properly. We sent a team to install a new tubewell, but a few miscreants attacked them at night. We are in the process of setting up a tubewell again now.”

Public health department’s executive engineer Vikas Lather said a tubewell had been installed in nearby Gumthala village, before offering assurance that a tubewell will be installed in Chauki village as well by next week. He added that the department had been supplying water tankers to the village.

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