Nawanshahr:Upset over the snapping of dozens of power connections of the tubewells of the Public Health department supplying drinking water to households in the utterly backward Kandi area of Punjab in the past couple of days without any notice, the state committee of Kandi Sangharsh Committee (KSC) at a meeting held at Pojewal here on Sunday decided to hold dharnas outside the Powercom offices in Kandi area from March 7 if the connections were not restored by then. KSC president Darshan Singh Mattoo who presided over the meeting told this correspondent that snapping of power connections has led to huge shortage of drinking water in the already water-starved Kandi region of the state.
“Kandi vich nalke muk gaye hun, khuh suk gaye hun te seeran da panni khatm ho gya hai (there are no hand pumps now in Kandi, wells have also already dried up and there are no ‘seeran’ or ‘choes’ which earlier used to supply water in times of water crisis, left),” he lamented asking where the people of Kandi should go in such circumstances. It needs to be mentioned here that Kandi comprises a 350 km long, 45 km wide part of the state along the Shivalik hills with around 6 per cent of the state’s population and here the agriculture is also rain-fed mostly as borewells needs nearly 800-900 ft of digging to throw out some water.
Terming the decision of Powercom to disconnect power supply to tubewells a highly questionable act at this juncture when summers were setting in and only a week was left for the new government to come to power in the state, Mattoo warned that in case any untoward incident happens because of water scarcity, the KSC would lodge an FIR against the senior Powercom officials including its chairman and other senior government functionaries. He added that as facility of safe drinking water was the fundamental right of all citizens in any welfare state, the Powercom’s decision to snap power connections of tubewells was also a violation of this fundamental right and the KSC was also considering its option to move the court on it. As disconnection of power connections of tubewells has also led to snapping supply of drinking water to those households who were regularly paying their water bills, many of them could also move the court in case the water facility was not restored soon, said the sources. According to Mattoo, the whole affair needs a high-level probe as there seemed to be diversion of funds of the Public Health department.
Meanwhile, Balachaur-based NGO Awaz Welfare Society has also decided to meet the deputy commissioner on Monday to bring to his notice the miseries faced by the people of the affected village due to absence of drinking water.
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