Palampur residents forced to drink filthy water

Over 50,000 residents of Palampur and adjoining areas are being forced to consume muddy and contaminated drinking water as the water treatment plants of the Irrigation and Public Health (IPH) Department have virtually become non-functional. Though the state government had spent crores of rupees on the water treatment plants installed at Bundla village near the town but it hardly functions to the satisfaction of the residents, who have to consume contaminated and muddy water which carries mud insects and other foreign material. Many residents said when it rained the water treatment plant stops functioning and muddy and contaminated water was supplied to them. Officials of the IPH Department blame the power company which is executing a hydel project near the town to have damaged the drinking water sources by reckless cutting of hills and the entire silt and mud flow to the water reservoirs. The water tanks of the IPH Department are in a bad shape. There is no regular cleaning of these tanks. Most of the water tanks were full of mud, leaves and insects. In absence of the boundary wall stray animals freely enter inside the water treatment plant complex. These animals could fall in the water tanks any time. The officials of the IPH Department were unconcerned with the situation, it seems that no official had ever visited these water tanks. Official sources revealed that the state government had spent over Rs 3 crore on water treatment system installed for the town recently, but in the absence of proper maintenance and repair the plant was not functioning to the satisfaction of the consumers.