Submit report in 6 weeks: NGT to chief secy, Ludhiana DC, MC - Hindustan Times
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Submit report in 6 weeks: NGT to chief secy, Ludhiana DC, MC

By, Ludhiana
May 17, 2024 10:29 PM IST

Waste, such as plastic bags and non-biodegradable materials, are allegedly being dumped into the canal, exacerbating pollution concerns

The National Green Tribunal has granted six weeks for Punjab, chief secretary, deputy commissioner, and the Ludhiana canal officer to submit a response on the issue of pollution and encroachment along the Sidhwan Canal.

Despite directives from the tribunal, the municipal corporation’s reply dated March 10 remains vague, failing to confirm whether the waste has been cleared. (Manish/HT)
Despite directives from the tribunal, the municipal corporation’s reply dated March 10 remains vague, failing to confirm whether the waste has been cleared. (Manish/HT)

Waste, such as plastic bags and non-biodegradable materials, are allegedly being dumped into the canal, exacerbating pollution concerns. The tribunal had formed a joint committee to investigate the matter on February 20 last year, emphasising the need to remove waste from the canal bed and address encroachments along its banks.

However, the progress has been slow. Despite directives from the tribunal, the municipal corporation’s reply dated March 10 remains vague, failing to confirm whether the waste has been cleared. While the corporation claims to have cleaned the canal banks, evidence presented by the applicant suggests otherwise, with photographs revealing lingering waste and encroachments.

Additionally, a 1.7km stretch of the canal remains uncleared, with the municipal corporation shifting responsibility to the irrigation department. Initially, the state/irrigation department asserted that cleaning was the MC’s duty, but they later expressed uncertainty, promising to seek clarification.

Additional MC commissioner Paramdeep Singh said, “We have cleared the dump near Sidhwan canal and the land where a static compactor will be installed soon. The cleaning of Sidhwan Canal is under canal officer. We are going to submit a collective report in this regard to the NGT soon.”

The tribunal expressed dismay at the lack of progress. Local authorities have failed to provide adequate responses or take decisive action. Frustrated by the apparent lack of seriousness and inter-departmental conflicts, the tribunal issued a final ultimatum and granted six weeks time for a report.

NGT said that on failure to comply, the tribunal will seek virtual appearance of chief secretary on the next hearing scheduled for August 22, 2024.

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