Mauli Jagran is barely done with elections and people are out on the street again. They say they are getting contaminated water again. After the recent diarrhoea outbreak, that should set alarm bells ringing.
On Saturday Mauli Jagran residents came out on the streets to protest the poor water quality. Residents say that the water that flows from taps in the locality is murky and has a foul taste. Two months ago literally thousands of Mauli Jagran residents suffered serious diarrhoea and six people died. Residents said that the epidemic compelled the UT Administration to supply safe drinking water in tankers and maintain regular checks on the quality of piped water. However, they say that the lesson of June is now forgotten and their taps are once again pouring out water that anyone would hesitate to drink – or even bathe with. They accuse Public Health Department officers of confining themselves to their offices and not troubling to take regular water samples from the colony. They also complain that Ward councilor Rajinder Kaur Rattu has become inaccessible. Many people are suffering from fever, they say.
In many areas of Chandigarh water and sewerage pipes are either very old, or they are damaged. Since the pipes lay side by side, chances of sewage water mingling with drinking water is very high. Residents of more affluent sectors rarely fall ill because they can afford water filters and every home has one. In places like Mauli Jagran people drink whatever comes out of the tap.
Public Health Department employee Tirlochan Singh provided some additional information. Singh is in charge of the Mauli Jagran tubewell. He said that the tubewell pump was out of order and sent for repairs. Re-installation of the pump is in progress and he expected the tubewell to be functioning again by Saturday evening.
Ward Councilor Rajinder Rattu insists that she visits Mauli Jagran every day and always makes it a point to check water supply. She claims to have responded to complaints about poor quality water by taking up the matter with the Public Health Department and personally monitoring the water sampling work.
Mauli Jagran and its neighbouring locality, Vikas Nagar, are both low-income districts, both are congested warrens of narrow streets and primitive living conditions. However the high density of the population makes these areas politically sensitive. Residents have learned the hard way that they have to make a lot of noise to get anything and they have to continue making noise if they want to hang on to their civic amenities.
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- 2 residents of Vikas Nagar died with symptoms of diarrhoea
- Water shortage protests in Rohtak & Bhiwani
- Typhoid stalks Mauli Jagran