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Jalandhar’s Haripur village leads way in sewage treatment, rainwater harvesting

Rural minister directs officials in state to follow suit

punjab Updated: Jun 24, 2018 14:33 IST
Parampreet Singh Narula
Parampreet Singh Narula
Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
Jalandhar village leads way,sewage treatment,rainwater harvesting
The sewage treatment system set up at Haripur village in Jalandhar.(HT Photo )

Residents of Haripur village, around 43 km from here, have set an example by laying a modernised sewage treatment system and adopting a rainwater harvesting system to preserve water on their own and with the help of non-resident Indians, forcing rural development and panchayat (RDP) minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa to take note and direct all the officials concerned in the state to visit the village with an aim to replicate the systems in other villages of the state.

A letter, sent by the minister to all the deputy commissioners in the state, has asked them to send officials of the panchayat departments of their districts to visit Haripur to study the exemplary work the villagers have done with negligible support of the government and replicate the systems in other villages.

Bajwa said he had visited the village during the Shahkot bypoll and felt very happy that without any help from the government, the villagers, and non-resident Indians (NRIs) have set an example.

“My dream is to implement this project in all the villages, even chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh expressed his wish to visit the village when I told him about the project,” he said.

The sewage water treatment project

Impressed by the Balbir Singh Seechewal model, the Haripur panchayat, led by sarpanch Parshotam Lal, and the Haripur Vikas Committee, led by its president Joga Singh, encouraged non-Indian residents (NRIs) from the village, to contribute to lay the sewage treatment system in the village.

Now, when one enters the village, instead of finding a filthy pond with a foul smell, one finds a very beautiful park and a walkway constructed with interlocking tiles surrounding the cemented two pools. One pool is used to preserve treated water and the other to store rainwater. The sewage water is also used for irrigation after is treated.

“So far, we have spent around ₹1.4 crore on the project, out of which only ₹13 lakh were given by the government, that too during the Shahkot bypoll. The rest was contributed by NRIs and villagers,” the sarpanch said.

He said that they had met environmentalist and Padma Shri Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal, who helped them to execute the project at a minimal cost.

Lal said that almost all the works have been done, except planting superior quality trees and plants. This task will also be completed soon, he added.

Lal said that ₹10 lakh and ₹6 lakh each were given by NRIs based in England Sukhjinder Singh Samra and Sukhdev Singh respectively, while, at least 100 NRIs have contributed ₹1 lakh each, apart from the help from village farmers.

Wha is Seechewal model?

According to the Seechewal model, the used water coming from houses and other sources, before flowing into the pond passes through three wells where solid and oily waste are segregated. The refined liquid then flows into the pond and remains stagnant there for at least seven days, which helps kill the germs in water. Then it can be used to irrigate the crops.

Lal said that they have constructed about 550 ‘haujis’ (small pits)” outside everyone’s house so that no solid waste flows into the main pipeline, which may block the sewerage pipes.

When asked about the funds as the project will cost at least ₹70-80 lakh in every village, Bajwa said besides government help, they will encourage NGOs, NRIs and villagers to come forward to execute the project in their villages. “We will also deploy MGNREGA workers to construct the project, which will save labour cost and, if needed, we can sell some village land to execute the project,” Bajwa said.

Officials from many districts have already started visiting the village to study the project.

First Published: Jun 24, 2018 14:32 IST