JORABAT, June 12 - A large number of people have been affected by the defunct water supply project of the Public Health Engineering (PHE) department in Jorabat.
The situation has also exposed the inhabitants to grave health hazards, as they have been compelled to procure water from unsafe sources.
The water supply scheme was launched three years back and has not been functional for the past one year. The scheme once helped the people of the area in getting safe drinking water, but once it became non-functional, the people have been hit hard.
A local resident said that the water supply scheme was functioning erratically for some time, but came to a complete standstill a year back. Due to lack of maintenance the filters and tanks have been filled with straw, leaves, dust, etc.
Tara Sharma, president of the Jorabat Water Supply Scheme said that the scheme was set up under the leadership of Gauri Shankar Choudhary and very cheap materials (pipes, motors) were used in developing the water supply project. The machinery and equipment got damaged soon after the scheme was launched.
�The PHE department did not pay attention to the quality of the equipment installed while developing the project. We have also forwarded our grievances in writing to the local MLA Atul Bora and the PHE department regarding the matter,� Sharma said.
He added that even if the equipment is repaired, it hardly lasts a few days and gets damaged again due to its cheap quality, and in fact, there is little point now in repairing it.
�We are now waiting for the Central Water Supply Scheme of Dimoria and have written to the government to ensure streamlined water supply to the people of Jorabat area,� he said.
Gauri Shankar Choudhary, the then president of the scheme committee said that he had carried out repair works in his tenure.
Meanwhile, the inhabitants of Jorabat are facing a harrowing time as they have been compelled to use water from unsafe sources, exposing themselves in the process to serious health hazards.
Significantly, the BJP, before it formed its government in the State, had made supply of potable water to Jorabat inhabitants a poll plank.
�It will be interesting to see what the BJP government does in this regard, as providing safe drinking water was in its poll agenda, something reiterated by the BJP workers at a meeting held in Jorabat before the elections. They had given their word and must not backtrack on the vital issue,� a local resident said.
Meanwhile, the Dimoria unit of the All Assam Students� Union (AASU) today staged a demonstration protesting the PHE department�s failure in providing drinking water to the people. The student body in association with all its branches and sub-branches of the area took out a mass rally with thousands of students and local people around 10-30 am from Sonapur Mini Stadium to Sonapur Circle Office and submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Kamrup (Metro) through the SDC, Sonapur.
Jatindra Deka, president of Dimoria AASU, said that the PHE department must solve the issue within seven days and make the scheme functional so that people get safe drinking water. �Or else we will take our protest to a higher level.�
Dibyojyoti Medhi, adviser to Dimoria AASU, said that not only at Jorabat, but most of the water supply projects run by the PHE department are not functioning. He said the AASU would continue with its mass protest against the department, demanding proper water supply in greater Jorabat area.