Despite claims of the Congress government to provide clean and green environment in the state, the practice of discharging domestic and untreated polluted water in Kali Bein continues unabated in Kapurthala.
Environmentalist and Padma Shri awardee, Balbir Singh Seechewal, has taken up the matter with Punjab government and Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), apprising the problem of increasing pollution level in Bein since the sewage treatment plant (STP) in Kapurthala is not properly functional.
The plant is being run by Kapurthala municipal council (MC).
The PPCB officials assured of stoppage of discharging sewerage water in drain two weeks ago after thousands of dead fishes were found in Kali Bein. But untreated sewage continues to pollute Kali Bein.
The STP was installed about a decade ago, with a capacity of treating 25 million litre discharges per day.
However, for the past two years, the plant is not properly functional and is discharging untreated domestic waste into Kali Bein at Sultanpur Lodhi.
Due to this, lakhs of fishes were found dead here, earlier this month, as well as in 2015.
Though the PPCB officials claimed to have tightened the noose around the municipal corporation and a legal process has also been initiated against it for not running the sewage treatment plant properly.
But the violation of anti-pollution norms continues.
“I have taken up the matter of mixing of water with the PPCB officials and the state government many times. But due to the lackadaisical attitude of the officials, nothing has been done in this regard,” Seechewal said.
Sources said that citing fund shortage, the MC is not running the STP properly for the past few months and MC has even approached the sewerage board to take charge of maintenance.
However, the sewerage board denied request of the MC due to pending arrears against them. Executive officer (EO) Sandeep Tiwari said, “The MC has written to the water and sewerage board to take charge of the maintenance of plant as we are running short of funds to run the treatment plant. The matter is still pending.”
When contacted, the sewerage board officials denied any communication between the MC and the board officials.
Executive engineer Sunny Gogna of the sewerage board said, “The board is not planning to take charge of the STP again as the civic body has not cleared their pending maintenance charges worth Rs 87 lakh.”
He said that the STP was handed over to the MC in 2013, after that it had failed to pay the maintenance charges to the board. Meanwhile, due to mixing of sewage water, apart from skin diseases, a number of cancer cases have also been reported in many villages of the district, in recent years.