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Just 23 pc residents consuming RO water in Gidderbaha: Report


Bathinda, June 28 , 2010

Against the tall claims of ruling leaders of the state about receiving an overwhelming response to the reverse osmosis (RO) water scheme in villages, a survey report of 40 villages of Gidderbaha (Muktsar) - the home turf of finance minister Manpreet Badal - revealed that people were still far away from subscribing to the paid RO water.

Releasing the report, young activists of the Dr Sadhu Ram Memorial Sports and Welfare Club, Bhalaiana, informed TNS that out of total 32,000 households in the Gidderbaha constituency, which was badly affected due to contaminated groundwater, only 7,400 were consuming RO water, which comes to just 23 per cent.

However, activists of the club informed that the Hyderabad-based private firm, which had the contract of installing and running the RO plants in the area, had claimed to have counted a total of 22,500 households, among which 12,630 were consuming RO water.

The club members said their investigation revealed that most of the RO plants installed in villages usually remain closed due to frequent power cuts. It was also stated that the water cans, which were compulsorily sold to the consumers, were poorly designed and created problem in maintaining hygiene.

The report suggested that despite being well aware of the high content of fluoride in the groundwater, only five to 20 houses in each village on an average had RO systems.

Taking a dig over the poor condition of the state water works, the activists said 15 out of 40 villages in Gidderbaha were even without a boundary wall. As of result, the huge water reservoirs were posing as death tanks for stray animals.

It was also reported that potable water supply was still a distant dream for a number of villages in the area.

President of the club Jaspreet Singh Bhalaiana informed that they had collected 10 water samples from each village and the test reports revealed that majority of these had total dissolved solids (TDS) between 800-2,500 parts per million (PPM) while the samples collected from villages Doda, Bhutiwal, Sukhna Ablu, Chak Giljewala, Bharu, Lundewala, Vadiyan and Bhaliana showed an alarming percentage of TDS between 2,500-4,000 PPM.

On the other hand, the United State Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) suggested that water containing TDS more than 500 PPM was not fit for consumption, said the club youth.

Further challenging a report of the district health office, the club activists said the health officials claimed to have recorded 1,074 deaths caused due to cancer in the district during 2001-2009, while the number was much high. They asserted that villages located in the Gidderbaha constituency only had seen 6,300 deaths during the period.

Highlighting the harmful affects of the poor water facilities, members of the club mentioned two

renowned personalities of the district, Surinder Kaur Badal (wife of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal) and Muktsar MLA Kanwarjeet Singh alias Sunny Brar, who were undergoing treatment for cancer in the USA.

Among other members of the club, Harcharan Brar, Ranjeet Singh, Daljeet Singh, Sukhmander Singh and Gurpreet Soni urged their constituency representative Manpreet Badal to pay attention towards the problem.

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