Industry leaders were left embarrassed when members of an NGO from Rajasthan told them that the industry of Ludhiana needs to mend its ways in treatment of effluents released from different units that was causing cancer among the residents of northern parts of the state.
NGO 'Savera' had also filed a petition against Ludhiana industry in the National Green Tribunal sometime ago asking the Punjab government to take serious note of the untreated effluents released by the industry.
Industrial organisations including United Cycle and Parts Manufacturer Association (UCPMA), Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) had invited the members of 'Savera', which had done a lot of work against water pollution caused by the Ludhiana and Jalandhar industry, to the city for a seminar recently.
Members of the NGO during the seminar stated that the untreated effluents released from the city industry into Buddha Nullah that subsequently gets mixed with Sutlej river reach northern parts of Rajasthan through canal system. This was causing cancer among residents of those areas.
NGO member Shabnam Godara, who is vice-chairperson of Hanumangarh Zila Parishad in Rajasthan, said, "In Rajasthan, more than two crore people are suffering from various diseases due to the polluted water. Polluted water that goes from Punjab to Rajasthan has ruined the lives of people living in the state."
She requested the Ludhiana industrialists to treat the water properly, so that the water released into the river doesn't cause diseases.
CICU president Avtar Singh said, "Proper awareness should be spread among the industrialists on how to decrease the pollution level in their respective factories. Each unit should self monitor its factory pollution and try to control it."
PPCB member secretary Babu Ram said he was not in favour of shutting down the industries. "As the industry is the backbone of Punjab and it generates a lot of revenue and employment it cannot be shut. We are trying to overcome the problem of untreated effluents released by the industrial units," Ram said.
It is pertinent to mention here that the state government had asked PPCB earlier this year to take severe steps to reduce the pollution level in Buddha Nullah caused due to the release of untreated effluents in the stream.