NGOs protest setting up of ETPs at Haibowal, Tajpur dairy complexes
Members of different NGOs, under the banner of the ‘Public Action Committee’, staged a protest at the main Haibowal Bridge on Saturday as a part of their ongoing agitation against the water pollution in Sutlej River and Buddha Nullah.
The protesters raised objections over the proposal to establish effluent treatment plants (ETP) at Haibowal and Tajpur Road dairy complexes. The protesters asked why around ₹50 crore was being spent on establishing effluent treatment plants (ETPs) for treating dairy waste, when the MC is going to shift the dairy units.
The members stated that they have initiated a series of protests to draw the state government’s attention to the rising problem of pollution. This was their fourth protest regarding the matter.
Col CM Lakhanpal of Sangharsh Committee said, “If the government is planning to shift the dairy units, then why is the hard-earned money of taxpayers being wasted on installing the ETPs. Two demonstrations were held in the last two weeks, but the authorities failed to give a satisfactory reply. The ₹650-crore project to clean the nullah should be taken up properly so that public money is not wasted or the project should be cancelled.”
DGP (Retd) Punjab Police, DR Bhatti, who is now member of Sanjha Sunehra Punjab Manch said that fighting the rising level of pollution is the most important battle of Punjab at present.
The protesters also demanded the project to rejuvenate nullah should be taken up with transparency as nulah polluted river Sutlej, which is a drinking water source for different parts of Punjab and Rajasthan.
Jaswant Singh Zafar of Buddha Darya Task Force said, “We had earlier demanded from the government that the works for the revival of ‘Buddha Darya’ should be done with full transparency. The nullah cannot be cleaned until the authorities deal with every aspect, including the pollution created by dairy units, by dumping waste in the nullah.”
The members stated that the government needs to break the nexus between industrialists, government officials, and politicians. Strict legal action should be taken against the defaulters who dump the waste/effluent in the nullah.
Kapil Arora from the council of engineers said rather than dealing with the issue of pollution, the state government is further adding to the problem by proposing to establish an industrial park near Mattewara forests.
“This will add to pollution in river Sutlej,” he said.