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Villagers consuming polluted water in Punjab

Villagers consuming polluted water in Punjab

Chandigarh: Around 2500 residents of ‘Arnatu’ village under Patran sub-tehsil of Patiala district of Punjab have been claming that Gaggars chemical mixed water consumed by them is polluted and resulted in sever health problems for their children and making their next generation handicap, but authorities concerned are yet to wake up. To make it worse, two contradictory reports one by Civil Surgon Patiala on behalf of Primary Health Center Shutrana claimed that there was nothing wrong in four samples that were tested & water is fit for consumption and other by Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), which says water is unfit for human consumption, have left the resident puzzled.
This matter is exposed by Sunam (Sangrur) based SANKALP, an NGO’s President Jatinder Jain, & bring this matter in front of Punjab Govt. after RTI information procured by him. Punjab Health Department, on the basis report submitted by doctors of Primary Health Center, Shutrana, to Civil Surgeon Patiala claimed that there was nothing wrong & water is fit for drinking in four water sample taken from village from different sites. But PPCB in his official report claimed that water of this village is not fit for drinking as it has high concentration of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD). Bio-chemical levels in the Ghaggar were far higher than normal; village ponds as well the groundwater there were also contaminated. The PPCB reports says the TDS level in water is 894mg against the maximum limit of 500mg while the concentration of Bio-chemical levels (BOD) is 14mg against the permissible limit of
3mg.
People have been complaining that women in the village, which is close to river Ghaggar, have been giving birth to babies with deformities.
The number of babies with hearing impairment and even mental retardation is abnormally high, claimed the Sarpanch Gurbux Ram who suspects that this may have something to do with the quality of water.
He said water works in the village have been lying defunct and non operational for the last five years, if tapped drinking water is provided, many of the village folk can escape disease.
Jatinder Jain of Sankalp, an NGO has taken up the matter at various fora. He expressed the hope that the Punjab Government will pay heed to villager’s plight and help provide them clean drinking water, “which is their basic right”. Jain added that matter has been already raised by PPCP Rajinder Kaur Bhattal in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha and Punjab government authorities are already aware of the problem and its seriousness. However, they continue to be silent on the issue, he lamented.
Jain says that Sant Baba Sichewal has also come with us and has also been apprised of the seriousness of the problem and has raised the matter with Punjab Pollution Control Board as well as among the Punjab govt.
Its to mentioned that the village is located on the banks of Ghaggar under Patran sub division of Patiala district of Punjab and discharging of pollutants in this seasonal rivulet by various industrial units has led to the polluting of ground water.

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