NGOs raise doubts over Buddha Nullah rejuvenation project
Members of various NGOs under the banner of Public Action Committee for Sutlej and Mattewara staged a silent protest on Saturday at Jamalpur bridge near Central Jail on Tajpur Road, under their ongoing campaign to stop the pollution of the Buddha Nullah and Sutlej river. They also raised their doubts over the allegedly ill-planned Buddha Nullah rejuvenation project.
Members of NGOs including Naroa Punjab Manch, Vigilant Citizens Forum, Punjabi Bhasha Pasar Bhaichara also highlighted the delay in setting up the common effluent treatment plant (CETP) to treat dyeing industry waste, which is resulting in release of effluents into the nullah.
Colonel CM Lakhanpal (retired) and Jaskirat Singh said the existing 48 mld STP at Jamalpur has developed snag due to inflow of industrial waste and now again, the authorities have a contingency plan to treat it in the new 225 mld STP being established at Jamalpur.
Colonel Lakhanpal said, “The problem of waste water in Ludhiana has reached horrendous proportions. The government has spent hundreds of crores in the name of cleaning the Buddha Nullah, but the problem has only increased over the years. Ministers and bureaucrats see it as nothing more than a cash cow and there is very little transparency. “
Mohinder Singh Sekhon from Punjabi Bhasha Pasar Bhaichara said that there are many scattered industries in the city which are not connected to the clusters of these CETPs. He added that the government should formulate a strict policy to link them to the CETP clusters or shut them down. They should not be allowed to discharge their industrial effluent into the municipal sewer lines, he added.
The protesters also slammed the administration for misleading the public by claiming that releasing fresh water into the nullah has reduced the pollution level by 80%. They protesters also demanded that the government rollback the decision to establish an industrial park on the banks of Sutlej river in Mattewara.
Industrialist Ranjodh Singh said, “The government wants to shift the textile and dyeing industry of the city to the banks of the Sutlej near Mattewara forest, which will add to pollution in the already polluted river which is a source of drinking water for southern Punjab and many districts of Rajasthan. The proposal should be scrapped.”