There is more to the problem of stink coming from an N-choe (natural choe) in SAS Nagar - a stream that runs across the Leisure Valley in the city - than MC’s lackadaisical attitude. During HT’s investigation, it has come out that Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has spent 5 crore on stone pitching on the choe’s bed in their area, which has only aggravated the problem.
The choe has forced residents of SAS Nagar, especially those from Phases 9, 10 and Sectors 63, 64, 66 and 67, to live amid the perpetual stink and unhygienic conditions for the past several years.
Stone pitching by GMADA has led to stagnant water on the bed leading to the growth of a weed called Golden Duranta which has a height of 12 to 15 feet. The stone pitching was carried by GMADA in three phases beginning 2006.
The authority pays 25 lakh for cutting and uprooting weed every year, despite which, the problem remains.
During a visit by an HT team on Sunday, it was found that, though the contractor had cut the weed near Phase 9, they were not picked up. The choe is no more a natural choe after stone pitching. Had GMADA cleaned the choe with the help of a JCB or other machine, it would not have been the case.
Even though GMADA former executive engineer NS Kalsi opposed the laying of stone pitching at the N-choe, authorities concerned did not pay any heed.
Kalsi said, “Around 50,000 people in SAS Nagar are victims of stink coming from the Nchoe. I proposed to construct boxes to divert sewage water in the concealed box, and that rain water be fl owed in t he open drain, but t o no avail . Water remains stagnant with stone pitching and weed is very populous.”
Interestingly, GMADA authorities admitted the mistake. One of the senior officers, on the condition of anonymity, said, there was no need of stone pitching on the choe’s bed, but work was executed on the basis of a scheme approved by the competent authority. The officer admitted that the stink and weed problem was due to stone pitching.
Ashok Virdi, executive engineer of public health department, said, “As far as stone pitching in Phase 9 is concerned, sewage will not flow from there. Therefore, there is no question of stink.” However, according to experts, there is no need of stone pitching on the choe’s bed if sewage does not flow. Whether GMADA will pay for cutting weed every year remains to be seen.
Chandigarh municipal cor poration (MC) has built a sump in Sector 52 which has been nonfunctional for a couple of months due to lack of repair.
As a result sewage, which is otherwise supposed to be routed to the treatment plant in Diggian village in Phase 11, is flowing in the N-choe forcing residents to live in stink.
On the other hand, the raw sewer ef fluent which is supposed to reach the sewage treatment plants in Diggian village in Phase 11, and has a capacity of treating 45 million gallons per day (MGD) of sewage, is currently treating only 20 MGD.