A 10-km distributary of the Bist-Doab canal which was renovated at a cost of Rs 7 crore by the state government has once again started turning into a garbage dumping site.
The Bist-Doab canal system, which has 14 small and large canals or distributaries, had not received financial aid since its inception in 1955 and this distributory had virtually turned into a garbage dump.
The renovation work was started in November 2013 and was completed this January. In November last year, the government sanctioned Rs 7 crore for its rehabilitation and modernisation and the work started in the first week of November.
Under the renovation project, the banks of the distributary were lined with bricks to make them sturdy and to prevent the growth of wild vegetation, leading to faster supply of water.
The condition of the distributary started worsening within weeks of being formally inaugurated by chief parliamentary secretary (irrigation) Sohan Singh Thandal on January 11.
The canal department claimed that it had repeatedly written to the civic body to put garbage bins on the sides of the distributary, but to no avail.
The canal department had also recommended an FIR against those found dumping garbage in the canal, but nothing had happened.
One of the officials of the canal department said that after the completion of the renovation work, they had sent repeated communiques to the MC and its officials, urging them to take stern action against those dumping garbage in the canal, but to no avail, and it had now started resulting in diminishing of the canal system.
The official said that apart from the MC officials, locals were also responsible for the menace. He said the department had intended to form area-wise youth societies to prevent people from throwing garbage in the canal, and even installing grills and CCTV cameras around the canal, but nothing happened.
Sub-divisional officer, irrigation, Amarjeet Singh Chahal said the MC had also ignored their request of installing garbage bins near the canal.
Municipal commissioner Manpreet Singh Chattwal said, "I have no knowledge of the letters written by the irrigation department. We will place garbage bins around the canal after checking the records."
On being apprised of the situation, Thandal said he would visit the city soon to take stock of the situation. He said he had talked to deputy commissioner Varun Roojam and the MC officials and asked them to maintain the beauty of the renovated canal.