Chandigarh, July 1, 2013: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today sought the personal intervention and support from his Haryana and Himachal Pradesh counterparts Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Virbhadra Singh for immediately taking effective steps to prevent the reckless discharge of untreated domestic waste water and industrial effluents into drains, which ultimately joins river Ghaggar in Punjab territory.
Presiding over a meeting of the senior officers of Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), Badal monitored the situation besides underscoring the need to resolve this interstate environmental issue in a broader perspective here at Chief Minister’s residence this morning.
Badal was apprised that the state board had surveyed the river Ghaggar along with catchment area. Starting from Nadha Sahib Gurdwara (District Panchkula) in Haryana after which, the river enters into the territory of Punjab near village Mubarkpur, the color of water in the river was found changing at the downstream of confluence point of Sukhna choe, which carries sewage/sullage and Industrial effluent from Focal Point of Panchkula area and meets river Ghaggar near village Bhankherpur, district Mohali. On further downstream, the Industrial and domestic wastewater of Ambala, Shahbad Markanda and many villages of the state of Haryana, located in the catchment area of river Ghaggar was discharged into Ghaggar directly or through some storm water drains. The waste water from Pehowa and Kurukshetra towns besides Industrial effluents of some Paper and cardboard mills of district Kaithal entered into Punjab territory and meets River Ghaggar near village Rasauli, Tehsil Patran, District Patiala. The color of the water changes to blackish-brown at the downstream of confluence point of Sagarpara drain near Khanuri, district Sangrur. Further, the sewage/sullage of Kaithal, villages located in the catchment area of Kaithal drain, Industrial wastewater of card board mills located at Kaithal was discharged into river Ghaggar at village Khanauri, district Sangrur. In addition, the wastewater of Jakhal and Ratia of Haryana was also discharged into the river Ghaggar. In Shukhna Choe, untreated/partially treated effluent of Municipal Corporations of Chandigarh and Panchkula was directly discharged directly/indirectly or through of through Singhpura drain, which ultimately joins river Ghaggar near village Bhankepur, Tehsil Dera Bassi, district SAS Nagar. As per the analysis results of the sample of water in Sukhna choe entering the river Ghaggar was highly polluted with BOD and COD as high as 57 mg/l and 192 mg/l, against permissible limits of 30 mg/l and 250 mg/l, respectively.
Likewise, Badal was also informed that the domestic sewage of towns namely Nahan, Parwanoo and Kala Amb in Himachal Pradesh was also discharged into river Ghaggar.
Summing up the discussions, the Chief Minister asked the Chairman PPCB to coordinate with his counterparts of CPCB, HSPCB and HPSPCB for a joint sampling to be carried out from the interstate points to know the actual pollution load at these points so that effective measures could be taken up accordingly to combat this problem at the earliest.
He also said that he would soon take up this matter with Punjab Governor Shivraj V Patil, who was also the Administrator of UT Administration of Chandigarh for taking timely measures to prevent pollution caused due to discharge of waste water of Chandigarh city at various points so that a time bound action plan could be evolved by him for an early resolution of this vexed environmental issue in an efficacious manner, which was posing a major health & hygiene hazard to the life of lacs of inhabitants residing in the towns across river Ghaggar.
Badal also asked Secretary Environment, Science & Technology to flag up this issue with his counterparts of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh for convening separate meetings with Haryana and Himachal Pradesh CM so that all the pending interstate issues relating to river pollution especially of Ghaggar could be resolved permanently.
The Chief Minister categorically said the state government had already carried out a robust task of cleaning the rivers Satluj, Beas and Ghaggar at a cost of Rs. 2332 crore and the entire project would prove to be a futile exercise provided the careless and uncontrollable discharge of Municipal waste and industrial effluents from our neighbouring states Haryana and Himachal Pradesh was not ceased.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister offered all out support and cooperation to the both the Chief Ministers of Haryana and HP on behalf of Punjab Government, if there was any cause of blatant pollution on part of Punjab ostensibly affecting rivers in their respective territories adding he said the same should be brought to his notice forthwith so that it could be immediately resolved amicably. He also asked the Chief Secretary to keep a close tab on the interstate river pollution issues in future so that these could be settled forever through a mutual dialogue in a congenial atmosphere as they directly affect the very existence of mankind.
Prominent among who attended the meeting, Chief Secretary Rakesh Singh, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister SK Sandhu, Secretary Environment and Science & Technology Anirudh Tiwari, KJS Cheema and Gaggandip Singh Brar (both Special Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister), Chairman Ravinder Singh and Member Secretary Babu Ram of PPCB.