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Water supply: Angry Peren pours cold water on PHED’s washout

By EMN Updated: May 26, 2016 12:13 am

Dimapur, May 25: The Joint Action Committee for Restoration of Water Supply in Peren town has reacted sharply to the clarifications offered by the Public Health Engineering division of Peren concerning water supply to the town. The committee issued a press release on Wednesday demanding answers why the division neglected the matter for ‘more than 40 years’ and whipped the department for diverting issues and shifting blame on others.

“The Public of Peren town completely agrees with the clarification of K Kruse, chief engineer, PHED, on the point that ‘the existing water supply from Tesangki source has outlived its design period and is in bad shape.’ If this is the case, the department must also clarify as to why the department was sleeping over the issue for the last more than 40 years as the pipelines were installed in the 1970s. What has PHE department done and executed to improve and augment the existing water supply from Tesangki source, when they very well knew that it had outlived its design period?” the committee queried.

Members of Peren town had undertaken a silent procession recently. They submitted a 15-day ultimatum to the department of PHE to set up a special investigation team “for restoration of water supply to Peren town.”

The very night, PHED staffers had rushed to Tesangki to take up temporary repairing works, the committee stated.
“This implies that the department slept over the matter for 5 longs months over a job that could have been done in a day? The department must not hoodwink the public and must come out clean as to what the department was doing from January 2016 till 19th May,” the committee stated in ridicule.

The committee stated that it had clearly stated in its press release, which was published in the local dailies, that some miscreants had taken advantage of the ‘ongoing land dispute between Peren village and Tesen village’ to destroy the entire stretch of PHE pipeline at the Tesangki source.

“What has the department done to book the culprits who had damaged the pipelines at Tesangki source when on numerous instances, PHED had forcefully imposed penalty for recovering the cost of even unintended damages,” the committee stated.

The committee said that members of the public of Peren town had on May 17 undertaken verification of Tesangki River from the source till the delivery point. “…contradictory to the excuses of its officials that there was no water at the source, the public saw with their own eyes that there was more than enough water to supply the entire town.

PHED department must admit the fact that, it is purely the negligence of PHED department and its officials and must stop fooling the public with concocted stories which otherwise will not go down well.”

“Whether Tesangki River falls under Peren Village or Tesen Village jurisdiction for that matter, the people of Peren Town, for no fault of theirs, are facing untold pain and hardship simply because of the negligence of the Department.”

The committee also stated that providing water from tube wells to the public was only an ‘added measure’ to strengthen the existing water supply system and “absolutely not a solution to the chronic water scarcity faced by the public.”

Further, the “boundary issue” is a long drawn issue spanning for decades and is best left to the competent authorities but the PHED must clarify as to whether the department’s staffs were harassed for undertaking any developmental work in the said area, the committee demanded to know.

The committee stated: “If PHED feels that it has a stake in the dispute than they may feel free to become a party to the case and seek legal recourse. While the Joint Action Committee for Restoration of Water Supply in Peren Town had walked an extra mile to avoid compounding on the animosity between the stakeholder villages and walk a very tight rope over this sensitive issue, this unwarranted reasoning and effort to divert the blemish of the department and shift the blame on land dispute, only reflects the callous and ill-motivated intent of the department.”

Dubbing the attitude of the department, “sick mentality” that “smack of mala-fide intention, with no sincerity to solve the problem at hand,” it would only add fuel to the fire, the committee stated.

“Has K. Kruse, chief engineer PHED ever witnessed the realities of PHE pipelines leading to Peren town, leave alone the source at Tesangki? When his officials at Peren have admitted that they had never once gone for field duty to Tesangki source, how can the CE PHED sitting at Kohima give clarification as to what the ground realities are at Peren?”

As for the ultimatum so served to the department, the committee said that it stands. “We demand the government to form a special investigation team before the expiry of the 15 days mentioned thereof,” the committee added.

By EMN Updated: May 26, 2016 12:13:17 am