Observing that it is necessary that thermal plants of Punjab run in conformity with applicable environmental norms, the Punjab and Haryana high court has sought a report in this regard from the state government.
The directions were issued during the hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) by the high court on Tuesday. The PIL was filed by advocate BS Loomba to seek effective steps to check uranium content in Punjab groundwater.
The HC also asked the state government to submit a detailed plan for a one-year period on the installation of RO (reverse osmosis) units in affected villages of the state. The HC also observed that canal water supply to affected villages could play an important role in providing potable water to villages and asked the state government to explore the possibility of supplying the same and sought a detailed plan as to how the government would execute this plan. The Punjab government has been given time till May 15 to submit its replies on these issues.
The government told the HC that it had allocated Rs 100 crore in the budget for the financial year 2015-16 for the installation of water purification systems for providing potable water in 'quality-affected' villages of the state. The state also told the HC that 1,824 RO units had already been installed and another 561 would be set up in the next six months. It was also told that the state had submitted projects of 1,971 habitations requiring 1,829 RO units under the national rural drinking water and sanitation programme to the Union government for its approval.