SILCHAR, April 23 - In a narrow escape, lives of nearly 3000 villagers of Afar Basti in Masughat GP under Bokhola constituency of Cachar district were saved, courtesy great presence of mind by Jasim Uddin Barbhuiya, pump operator of Kharilpar PHE piped water treatment plant after miscreants allegedly poisoned the tank.
According to sources, on Tuesday, when Jasim Uddin went to switch on the pump to store and supply water from the tank, he found bottles of pesticides used in farming near the tank and saw unfamiliar bubbles on the water. Under suspicion, he rushed to the nearby locality and brought the matter to the notice of all.
�Like all other days, I went to store water in the talk but could see the colour of the water contaminated and a foul odour was coming from the water. Also, two bottles of pesticides were lying close by the tank. This created suspicion in my mind and I rushed to the people around,� Jasim Uddin told the villagers.
Soon, police was informed and tracker dogs were brought to the site for investigation.
Meanwhile, local MLA Kishore Nath who reached the spot said that at least 3500 people of four surrounding villages receive water from the water plant and poisoning of the water is an ominous sign. �This is a serious issue and steps will be taken to find out the people behind the incident,� Nath said.
PHE officials informed that the poisoned water will be detoxified and fresh water will be supplied at the earliest after conducting proper lab tests.
On the other hand, Ditumoni Goswami, officer in-charge of Silchar Sadar police station told The Assam Tribune, �some containers of pesticides have been recovered from the tank and PHE officials are looking into the matter. We are investigating the case. There have been no arrests made so far.�