Untreated wastewater from Mohali IT City entering N-Choe
Seven years after the area’s development, Greater Mohali Area Development Authority has failed to construct two sewage treatment plants of 10 MLD capacity
Even though the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (Gmada) had developed IT City (adjoining Airport Road) seven years ago, despite directions of the ministry of environment, forest and climate change, it has not constructed two sewage treatment plants (STPs) each with 10 MLD capacity.
As a result, the untreated sewage is being discharged into N-Choe passing through the IT City. In 2019, the development authority had built a portable STP of 500 KLD, which is lying defunct since then.
Residents allege that with untreated sewage being discharged in N-Choe, harmful waterborne pathogens and bacteria pose a high risk to human and animal health. N-Choe is a seasonal stream that originates in the north of Chandigarh and runs across the city before meeting the Jagatpura drain at Manauli village in Mohali. The water finally drains into Ghaggar river.
The IT City is spread over 1,722 acres across sectors 66B, 82A, 83A and 101A adjoining the Airport Road and has major IT companies, industrial units, residential areas, one private school, and commercial units.
Also, two major private universities have set up their campus there. The first housing scheme in IT City was launched in February 2014 with 325 residential plots, the second scheme in July 2016 with 750 plots, and the last scheme in April 2018.
Ranjiv Mankatala, executive engineer of Gmada who is dealing with the STPs, admitted that portable treatment plant was not functional. “But we will make it operational in a few days as enough sewage is not being generated,” he added. Regarding the construction of the two STPs of 10 MLD each, he said the work would start soon. It is pertinent to mention that in February 2019, while giving the revised environment clearance, the ministry had clearly directed the Gmada to construct two STPs of 10 MLD each, but even after two years, nothing has been done.
Ikesh Pal Singh, general secretary of RWA, IT City ( Block C), said, “Gmada has laid down incomplete infrastructure in the IT City. They were supposed to treat the waste water generated in the residential area and channel it back to the houses for irrigation and construction purposes. For this, dual plumbing has also been laid out in the area, but it is incomplete. There are more than 30 houses that have completed the construction and people are living there. Sewage is being generated and disposed of unscientifically in the choe.”
Last month, the development authority had held a draw of lots for showrooms and booths for the land acquired in the IT City housing scheme at Aerocity in December 2011.