Now, aggrieved residents move human rights panel for relief

Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 11

Residents of Guru Arjan Dev Nagar locality, near Dholweal Chowk, are forced to live with choked and overflowing sewers for the last over two months. Having exhausted all other means to get relief, the aggrieved residents have now moved the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to come to their rescue.

In a complaint filed with the NHRC, residents of Guru Arjan Dev Nagar Colony, falling in Ward No. 41 (Zone C), said most of the sewer lines were choked and sewerage discharge was overflowing in many streets posing a grave health hazard to residents. “Already there has been an outbreak of water-borne diseases such as diarrhea, malaria and dysentery and the situation might deteriorate further if immediate remedial measures are not taken,” the complaint says.

Gajjan Singh Jassal and other residents of the area lamented that overflowing sewage in several streets and around places of worship had become a big source of nuisance because the domestic waste flowing out from the sewer lines was being carried inside the temple and gurdwara as well as inside homes and kitchens of residents.

“Repeated written complaints and personal meetings with senior officials of the Municipal Corporation have failed to yield any positive response. For the sad plight of residents, the Sub Divisional Officer and Junior Engineer (O and M) concerned of the area are to be squarely blamed for the negligence and dereliction of duty,” residents said.

Residents said a machine for mechanical cleaning of sewer lines provided for the area was lying defunct in one of the parks in the colony and deliberately, or otherwise, wheels of the mobile machine stand removed, so that it remains stuck at one place.

Attaching photographic evidence of overflowing sewage in street nos. 1 to 8 of the colony, the affected residents have sought immediate intervention of the Commission and directions to MC officials to redress their problem without any further delay.

Confirming that the problem of residents was indeed genuine, MC Superintending Engineer (O&M) Rajinder Singh said manual cleaning of sewer lines in the area was not possible and it required cleaning with super-suction machines.

“The work has been allotted to a contractor and the sewer lines would be cleared within a week’s time, which will solve the problem for the time being. Planning is also under way for a long term and permanent solution to the problem of frequent choking of sewer lines,” he said.

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