Sangrur village without drinking water; 6,000 residents using canal
Sangrur Over 6,000 residents of Bhullan village, about 75km from district headquarters, do not have access to clean drinking water. Successive state governments have failed to resolve the issue and villagers are forced to get water for drinking from the Bhakra Canal passing through the village.
Tubewells are not a viable option as the concentration of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in ground water is much higher than the safe limit. Every day, a crowd of men and women gather around the canal with utensils in hand.
“There are many problems in the village, but the crisis of drinking water has been unresolved for decades. We have to get up at 4am to get water from the canal. Though Rajinder Kaur Bhattal has been our representative for decades and former finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa is the sitting MLA from Lehra constituency, no one has tried to provide drinking water,” said Bal Kishan, of the village.
Chameli, an elderly woman, said no one has bothered to solve their problems for over 40 years. “Politicians make promises during elections, but never come back. We work as labourers and when we return, we have to go to the canal for drinking water. Our young children are wasting their energy in arranging water,” she added.
Sarpanch Suresh Kumar, 36, said the TDS of ground water has been tested to be between 3,500 and 6,000 which is harmful for human health, as the safe range is between 50 and 150. “The Bhakra Canal crosses from our village which is a boon for our crops. We demand that the water of the canal should be provided to us for drinking, after purification,” the sarpanch added.
Moonak sub-divisional magistrate Simarpreet Kaur said, “The water supply department had sent an estimate for a bore and water tank to the government, but and objection was raised due to administrative reasons. The matter will be resolved soon. She added, “Locals also demand canal water for drinking. I have called a meeting the day after tomorrow.”
Local MLA Dhindsa said, “I have raised the matter in the state assembly and with government authorities twice, but no action has been taken.”