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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

Pollution: Karva Chauth rituals add to Sukhna woes

In 2007, the administration had banned the celebrations of religious festivals like Chhath Puja at the lake

chandigarh Updated: Oct 19, 2019 00:17 IST
Srishti Jaswal
Srishti Jaswal
Hindustantimes
         

A day after Karva Chauth was celebrated at the Sukhna Lake, city-based environmentalists and residents have expressed anguish at the UT administration for allowing the practice, resulting into littering, accumulation of garbage leading to environment degradation.

“A day after Karva Chauth celebrations, the lake was in a mess. I had requested the Chandigarh administration officials to ensure that no littering takes place at the lake but no one paid heed,” said environmentalist Paveela Bali.

In 2007, the administration had banned the celebrations of religious festivals like Chhath Puja at the Sukhna Lake. In 2008, a separate artificial lake at Sector 42 was inaugurated by the administration for religious ceremonies.

Meanwhile, secretary tourism, Chandigarh, Arun Kumar Gupta said, “My department did not give any permission for celebrations at the lake.”

While local councillor, Maheshinder Singh Sidhu said, “No one can be stopped from going to the lake for celebrating but the officials should ensure that no littering is done.”

“Karva Chauth is different from Chhath Puja which causes more environmental damage,” said Sidhu.

Damage done

An environmental engineering researcher from Punjab Engineering College, Suraj Sharma, said: “Several studies have shown that the amount of nitrate and phosphate in the lake is higher than the permissible limit. This causes eutrophication and dissolved oxygen deficiency in the water body.”

“This in turn makes it difficult for the flora and fauna to survive in water. Celebrating such festivals and adding clutter only worsens the condition of the lake,” said Sharma.

Know the law

If found littering in public places, a person can be fined up to ₹5,000 in residential areas and ₹10,000 in commercial establishments.

According to the 2017 amendment in the 1999 Municipal corporation’s Sanitation and Public Health Amendment Bylaws, a defaulter will be charged for the removal and disposal of waste at the rates decided by the MC.

In case of non-payment of charges, the same will be added to the water bill of the defaulter.

CONCERN Tourism department did not give any permission for celebrations at the lake, says official