With a notice being issued to industry giant Hero Cycles Limited against violation of environmental norms, the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) is now planning to put a clamp on other major violators not treating effluent-ridden water before releasing it into the sewage system.
The PPCB had raided Hero Cycles Limited premises on Tuesday evening and had found that the company was pumping at least 11 lakh litres of untreated water into the sewage system that eventually meets the Buddha Nullah, resulting in severe pollution in the stream and beyond.
However, the PPCB is not taking the case in isolation and has now decided conducting raids on several electroplating units in the near coming future. The issue of effluents in the Buddha Nullah has always remained in the limelight with the PPCB conducting raids on small units. This was for the first time that the board raided an industry giant.
In the past, the municipal corporation (MC) and the PPCB have held talks with senior officials of the state government who came to the city to discuss the cleaning of Buddha Nullah. However, these discussions mostly remained on tables as no serious action has been taken so far.
The problem came to the limelight at the chief minister's office when letters by the Rajasthan government stated that effluent mixed water of Harike lake was causing cancer in the region. Water of the Sutlej river is collected in Harike lake. Buddha Nullah merges into the Sutlej near Wallipur Kalan village in Ludhiana.
Sources in the PPCB say that there are more than 200 points from where effluents enter Buddha Nullah. "Dyeing and electroplating units at different locations release their effluents directly into the Buddha Nullah that has made the stream deadly," the sources added.
Even Hero Cycles Limited that had its own treatment plant on its the premises was not using it and dumping heavily polluted effluents into the sewage system.
In July, the PPCB had found 70 industrial units violating environmental norms and notices were issued to them.
PPCB chief environmental engineer Gulshan Rai, who monitored the raids on Tuesday, said such inspections at different industrial units would continue in the near future.
"We will not deter to conduct raids even if the unit is a major industry or not. Everyone has to abide by the environmental norms and action will be taken against those violating the norms," said Rai.