Despite spending over Rs 65 lakh to clean up the Buddha Nullah, the municipal corporation (MC) has little to show for its efforts.
The drain remains highly polluted with work on clearing up the sewer lines in the Haibowal area, which discharge sewage directly into the nullah, behind schedule.
The civic body had outsourced the task of cleaning up the blocked sewer pipes.
However, the contractor only installed temporary pipes and pumps and the sewage removed is being released into the nullah, polluting it further.
Moreover, the Punjab Pollution Control Board, which has blamed dyeing factories located in the area for polluting the drain, has not cared to take any action against the MC that is plainly at fault.
Jagjeet Singh, an environmental activist, said: “On the one hand the civic body is spending a huge amount of public funds to clean up the drain but on the other taking no punitive action to check violations of its environmental regulations. Not only the Buddha Nullah but also the Sutlej river, into which the drain flows, is also getting polluted. Civic officials should take immediate steps to bring defaulters to book. The MC should use super sucker machines to clean the manholes and ensure the sewage doesn’t flow into the nullah.”
A worker who was cleaning up a blocked sewer line in Haibowal, admitted, “We’ve been releasing the sewage into the nullah.”
During his recent visit to the city, SK Sandhu, principal secretary to the chief minister, had instructed civic officials to plug any outlets from where sewage was being released into the nullah.
MC zone-C commissioner Manjit Singh, who also heads operations and maintenance wing of zone C and D, said, “We had given the work to clean up the sewer line to a contractor, but releasing of sewage into the nullah is a sheer violation. I will direct the officials concerned to take immediate steps to stop such activity. We will take required action in the matter.”