A water tank, managed by Derabassi Municipal Council (MC), is the only source of drinking water for around 3,000 people, claim the residents of Issapur village and colony. The MC had installed two tube wells and a water tank in the village four years ago, but the villagers say that the groundwater is unfit for drinking.
Issapur is the most-affected village from polluted groundwater and the villagers are fighting a case against the industrial units in the village in National Green Tribunal (NGT).
A study conducted by Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) in 2012 had said that the water was “unfit” for drinking.
Isapur village has a population of around 1,300 people, while a nearby colony has a population of around 1,700 people.
Karnail Singh, a resident of Isapur village who is among those fighting against the industrial units, said that though the tube wells were installed, these were of no use as the water is polluted. “The villagers, who can afford, have installed Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems, but there are many people who can not afford water purifiers,” he said, demanding that Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) and health department must carry out regular checks on the quality of water in the village.
”A normal RO system costs at least Rs 4,000, which many villagers and the people living in the in the colony can not afford,” said Gurdit Singh, a resident of Isapur village.
Estate Officer of Derabassi MC S S Sidhu, however, told Chandigarh Newsline that the water is safe for drinking.
“One tube well is 1,600-feet deep, while the other is 1,700-feet deep. We got the drinking water tested thrice after the PAU report and the water quality is good for drinking now,” Sidhu claimed.
Amritpal Singh, another resident of the village, said that the ground water is polluted up to 500-feet and that the pollution can go further down, so the villagers want the industrial units to be closed.
“In 2011, the water was polluted up to 100 feet. Now it is not even safe at 500 feet. If the situation is not improved, the water shall not be safe at 1,700 feet too,” he said.
When asked about the timings and quantity of water being supplied, Sidhu said that the MC supplies it thrice in Isapur village and colony. “The village gets water for seven hours per day. We supply a total of 17,000 gallons water per hour,” Sidhu claimed.
Executive Engineer of PPCB Kuldeep Singh, when asked about the industrial units, said that the matter was in the NGT.