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Bharat Khanna, Hindustan Times
Sardulgarh (Mansa), November 05, 2012
The Ghaggar river that has turned black with pollution and had become an environmental issue in this constituency during the elections to the assembly, has become a nuisance for the locals who fear it to become a health hazard.
The river that emits a foul smell has worried the locals as people are suffering from cancer, skin disorders and other ailments. The issue of cleaning the river was raised during the elections and many village sarpanches had met leaders of both SAD (B) and Congress.

The discharge of effluents into the river at Ratia town of Haryana by some soap factories and other industries without treating the industrial waste has polluted the water that has turned black.

When apprised of the issue during his recent visit to the mega medical camp at Mansa,  chief minister Parkash Singh Badal said, "The state government will soon start the river cleaning projects and the Ghaggar will also be cleaned."

Last year, a team of the Central Ground Water Board collected samples from Mansa district, including the villages near the Ghaggar.

The district agriculture office had also conducted a survey last year and after testing the groundwater in villages of Mansa district had found more than 40% of the area having groundwater unfit for irrigation.

Shamsher Singh, resident of Sardulgarh, said, "The Ghaggar gives out an unpleasant smell and one cannot stand here for more than a few minutes. Cancer and skin diseases are common here. During the last elections, we had met many leaders, but to no avail."

Congress MLA Ajit Inder Singh Mofar said, "I have repeatedly raised the issue, including in the recent assembly session, but the discharge of effluents into the river has not been stopped. The government is apathetic on the issue."