“Eh paani koi naa peeve. Je koi peevega ya apne dangaran nu pilauga tan oh aap zimmedar hovega. (Do not drink this water. You or your animals should do so at your own risk) booms a gurdwara microphone at Chananwindi village in Kapurthala, issuing a warning to villagers not to drink water from the overhead tank. In flood-ravaged areas, the situation has come to this that villagers are being asked to drink water at their own risk.
Groundwater across 35 villages in Jalandhar and Kapurthala has been severely contaminated following the Sutlej floods. The groundwater has been contaminated by the toxic water of the Chitti Bein, the drain which is notorious for carrying industrial waste-laden water from polluting units. Mucky water in the fields is being received in 12 villages of Kapurthala and 25 in Jalandhar.
Gurjinder Singh from Channanwindi village in Kapurthala said, “Water till 400 foot has become contaminated. We don’t know whether the situation will improve or not. Some say new bores will help but I don’t think that’s the solution.”
Paramjit Singh in Sheikh Manga village has his tubewell letting out a stream of muddy water for two days. Pipes are pouring black water in Nasirpur, Mandhala, Sardwarwala, Gidderpindi and many other villages in Kapurhala and Jalandhar.
Nirvair Singh of Nasirpur says, “A triangular area comprising 85 villages surrounded by the Sutlej, Chitti Bein and Beas is the worst hit. Around 20 to 25 villages in Lohian are also hit. Bores from 150 to 400 foot are no more functional. With the ensuing crop season, this water will enter the food chain and might further contaminate groundwater.”
Mukhtiar Singh of the Gidderpindi says, “Floods have muddied water in the past also but this time, the situation is grim. The Chitti Bein is clearly laden with more industrial waste than ever before.”
The Kapurthala Deputy Commissioner had written to the Department of Science, Technology and Environment to send a technical team to survey the groundwater damage. While the teams came, a report on the issue is yet to be prepared.
Courtesy: The Tribune