Executive engineer of Jal Nigam Deepak Kumar, said, “Under the NGT’s scheme, around Rs 43 crore has been spent to provide pure drinking water to the population of about 83,823 people of 21 villages in Shamli.”
Under the project, solar water pumps and overhead water tanks were installed with an aim to provide clean and safe drinking water to the villagers. However, over a period of time, the solar pumps became defective due to lack of maintenance and manpower. Thefts of equipment and the supply shortage of water cleaning agent chlorine also added to the woes.
Shailendra Panwar, who works as a pump operator in Khanpur Talwa Majra village told TOI, “The water supply had started on 25 December 2020 in the village, but from the beginning, the chlorine mixing machine was not installed on the tank. Since then, the villagers have been drinking only water without chlorine and due to a faulty solar panel, it is also difficult to fill the tank.”
Another operator of Bhikki Deh village, Vipin Kumar, said that due to the broken pipeline, the water tank gets exhausted quickly and people allegedly accuse Kumar of stopping the water. “There is some defect in the machinery of the pump including a solar panel and the chlorine has also run out.”
Meanwhile, locals of Fatehpur village said that two solar batteries have been stolen from the water tank installed in the village, due to which the chlorine machine has also stopped. They alleged that the operator posted here sells vegetables in nearby villages. Some similar instances were also found in Samaspur village.
Most of the operators of water tanks have complained about not receiving their salaries on time.
On this, Saurabh Tyagi, Jal Nigam’s junior engineer said, “The operators posted at each water tank in 21 villages have been asked to collect Rs 50 per month from the villagers, so that their salary can be collected and immediate steps will be taken for the redressal of the issues.”