The lone tubewell in the Industrial Estate has been running contaminated water for over one and a half years now but Punjab Water Supply and Sanitation department authorities seem to be helpless.
The department had reportedly asked for funds from the Punjab government to dig a new tubewell and was sanctioned Rs 5.25 lakh for the purpose. The money,however,was allegedly sent by mistake to the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation in December 2007.
Officials of the Water Supply department claim that the corporation has not returned the money till date,forcing industrialists and workers to either carry water from their homes or consume contaminated water.
Executive Engineer of the Water Supply department,Pritam Singh said: We have sent communiqués to the civic body several times. The fund sanction clearly mentions that it is for the Industrial Estate tubewell and when the area does not fall under their jurisdiction,how can they keep the money with them. The state government has also been intimated about the same.
Pritam Singh also admitted that the tubewell is the only one in the area which caters to nearly 100 industrial units and several hutments of workers as well.
The tubewell was dug over 20 years ago when the groundwater level had not been depleted as it is at present. Now,a new borewell is a must but funds are needed for the purpose which we have not received yet, Pritam added.
MC Commissioner G S Ghuman,however,gave a totally different version by saying that the industrial area is maintained by them and incase industrialists have a problem of water shortage or contaminated supply,they should contact him.
The area falls under our purview so why should we transfer funds to the Water Supply and Sanitation department. If there is a demand for a new tubewell,we will give funds to the Sewerage Board to get a new tubewell installed, Ghuman said. He added that he has to check the records to ascertain as to when the payment came in as he was not posted in Ludhiana at that time. The communication from the state government,however,confirms that the payment has been made to the civic body. Authorities of Water Supply department,however,expressed surprise at the MC Commissioners claim and maintained that they have been responsible for the maintenance of the tubewell and industrial sheds in the area.
Meanwhile,several industrialists have installed submersibles inside their units so as to cater to the needs of the workers. They also said they were planning to meet the Ghuman and Superintending Engineer of the Water Supply and Sanitation department to sort out the confusion of jurisdiction.