Authorities not in action mode as polluted water flows into Rajasthan, Punjab channels from Harike barrage

As of now, only collection of samples of polluted water from Harike barrage in Punjab is going on and its test report may be expected within 3-4 days
Authorities not in action mode as polluted water flows into Rajasthan, Punjab channels from Harike barrage (HT)
Authorities not in action mode as polluted water flows into Rajasthan, Punjab channels from Harike barrage (HT)
Published on May 23, 2022 01:32 AM IST
Copy Link
ByGaurav Sagar Bhaskar, Ferozepur

No immediate measures have been initiated by the authorities to check the stinking brackish blushing water flowing from the Harike barrage near here into Rajasthan and Ferozepur feeder canals even after over a decade of the polluted water making its way to agricultural fields and homes, resulting in crop losses and health problems among residents of Punjab and adjoining Rajasthan that receive the water supplied by it.

“So far, no measures have been adopted to tackle the high pollutants into water at Harike headworks. To dilute the pollution affect, water from Ravi river is being released more instead of Satluj river,” according to official sources.

As of now, only collection of samples from Harike headworks is going on and its test report may be expected within 3-4 days, they said.

The Harike barrage, at the confluence of the Beas and Sutlej, channels water into the Indira Gandhi Canal (also known as Rajasthan feeder) which runs 640 kms to the southwest to irrigate some 1.5 million acres (607,000 hectares) of desert in western Rajasthan.

Water from Harikee headworks is also released into Ferozepur feeder canal and subsequently into eastern and Sirhind feeder, which caters areas of Ferozepur, Faridkot, Muktsar and Fazilka districts in Punjab.

According to a recent advisory issued by Punjab Water Resources Department, the water from the barrage has been declared unfit for human consumption and can be used only for irrigation purposes.

“The Bikaner canal gets its water from Harike’s headworks and water is needed for irrigation in parts of Rajasthan. Therefore, we have decided to only send water for irrigation purposes,” the advisory, issued on May 16, said.

Akashdeep Singh, executive engineer, canal regulation, Punjab, said that samples of brackish water were being collected by Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) team and only after receiving their nod, another advisory will be released to allow consumption of water for human use.

Crop losses and health problems

Lalit Sharma, a kinnow grower of Alamgarh village in Abohar, said, “even though the state government has issued advisory to use the brackish water for irrigation, it’s not fit for various crops in general and kinnow in particular.”

Raju Sekhon, another aggrieved farmer of Dharangwala village in Abohar of Fazilka district, said, “polluted water has deteriorated their crops as well as health. The kinnow orchard in the vicinity, which received ‘State Award’ in the past, was badly impacted due to irrigation with brackish water. A number of kinnow farmers have even uprooted their orchards.”

Sekhon said that innumerable textile industries in Ludhiana and canneries in Jalandhar district which are running without any water treatment plant and the sewerage treatment plants of various municipal areas in the vicinity lying incomplete or non-functional are among the major causes of pollution in the water body.

“Government must get a health audit done of inhabitants of the area as innumerable persons are suffering from water prone diseases, including skin infections, while cancer have increased manifold,” said Kuldeep Singh of Shergarh village, located 30 kms away from Abohar.

For Dr. Pritpal Singh, a social activist, the situation has reached a point that demands a crackdown on polluters, including affluent industrialists, who are throwing high degree of pollutants into rivers.

“It’s a man-made disaster and the present brackish water is unfit for human or irrigation purposes due to high presence of pollutants,” he said.

“For years, contaminated water has been supplied from Punjab canals. We have repeatedly raised the issue with Punjab authorities. Punjab needs to find a solution because rivers should not be used as a dumping ground for industrial wastewater and sewage. Their lacklustre attitude to resolve such a vital issue will prove deadly for Rajasthan farmers who need water to do farming on 45 lakh acres of their land,” said Subhash Sehgal, a leader of Rajasthan-based Kisan Sangrash Samiti.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • The spot where the tree branches feel from Parsik tunnel on Monday night. Disaster was averted as alert loco pilot applied brakes. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)

    Disaster averted as alert loco pilot applies brakes after tree branches fall on railway track in Thane

    The presence of mind of a loco pilot and RPF personnel on Monday night between Thane and Kalyan railway station averted a mishap after branches of a tree fell from Parsik tunnel (outside railway premises) on the fifth railway line in Thane. The incident occurred at around 8.50pm when the Bhagalpur-Lokmanya Tilak Terminus express train was passing through the Parsik tunnel. Thane RPF, Pratap Bhanu Singh, alerted the control room and Thane station master by 8.50pm.

  • The state cabinet approved a policy for the development of maintenance, repair and overhauling (MRO) facilities for aircraft in UP. (File Photo)

    Nod to 15,950 crore proposals to set up 4 data centre parks in UP

    LUCKNOW The Uttar Pradesh cabinet on Tuesday approved proposals to set up four data centre parks with an investment of over 15,950 crore in the state and also gave a nod to the policy for making the state a hub of aircraft repair. Under the Data Center Policy-2021,the data centre parks being set up in Noida region include one by NIDP Developers Private Limited of the Hiranandani Group.

  • Chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami chaired a meeting of senior police officers and officials of home department where the decision to launch e-FIRs was taken.

    Uttarakhand to launch e-FIRs soon for theft, missing items

    People in Uttarakhand will soon be able to register first information reports (FIRs) in case of vehicle theft and missing items, the state government decided on Tuesday after a meeting chaired by chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami. Dhami said the system of filing e-FIRs will make it convenient for people. “One will not have to worry about registering an FIR. The e-FIRs should be reviewed regularly by the higher authorities,” he said.

  • The Haridwar Police said a probe has been ordered to ascertain details of the incident in which a woman jumped into the Ganga. (Videograb)

    On camera, woman jumps into Ganga at Haridwar, swims to safety; probe ordered

    Dehradun/Haridwar: The Haridwar Police on Tuesday signalled its disapproval of an elderly woman jumping into the Ganga at the holy town's Har Ki Pauri on video, saying it has taken note of a widely-circulating video of the woman. “We have taken cognisance of the viral video and ordered the police station concerned to gather information for action,” said superintendent of police (city) Swatantra Kumar Singh said.

  • Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray sought to strike a conciliatory note after divesting the portfolios of nine rebel MLAs, saying it was not too late to return to Mumbai from Guwahati (ANI)

    ‘Won’t move no-trust motion but…’: Sena rebel faction responds to Uddhav appeal

    After chief minister and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray renewed his appeal to Sena's rebel legislators camping in Guwahati to return to Mumbai, leaders of the Eknath Shinde-led group demanded that Thackeray and the Shiv Sena first quit the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government before the two sides can look at any possibility of rapprochement.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, June 28, 2022