Rajasthan setting up system for checking quality of Punjab water
The confluence of Sutlej blackened by pollution with a relatively clean Beas at Harike.Updated: Jul 02, 2020 23:34 IST
The Rajasthan government is installing quality monitoring systems for water from Sutlej and Beas rivers from Punjab that comes through the Harike Barrage, said officials.
Indira Gandhi Nahar, Sirhind Feeder and Bikaner Canal carry water from Harike Barrage to border districts in Rajasthan – Sriganganagar, Hanumangarh, Bikaner, Jaisalmer and Barmer – for irrigation and drinking.
Rajasthan has long been complaining about polluted water coming from Punjab. Punjab has made efforts to treat industrial effluent and sewage flowing into the two rivers upstream of the barrage.
Now, Rajasthan will install real-time water quality monitoring system (RTWQMS) on Indira Gandhi Nahar near Rajasthan-Haryana border and on Bikaner Canal near Rajasthan-Punjab border in six months.
“We have floated tenders and bids will open next week,” said Rajasthan water resources department (WRD) secretary Naveen Mahajan. “Work will be completed in six months and will help us get real-time data on the quality of water coming from Punjab,” he added.
He said the monitoring system data will be sent to State Pollution Control Board, WRD and public health and engineering department (PHED), which supplies piped drinking water. “The PHED will be able to treat the water on the basis of data about pollutants before supply for drinking,” Mahajan said.
The monitoring system will generate information related to pH, tubidity, conductivity, water temperature, dissolved oxygen, bio-chemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), dissolved ammonia, nitrates and chlorides. “This will reflect in pollution control board, WRD and Hanumangarh control room every hour,” the WRD secretary said.
According to WRD officials, polluted water of Ludhiana flows into Sutlej through Buddha Nala; and industrial effluent and sewage from Jallandhar, Nakodar and Phagwara get into the river through Kaliban. Sutlej and Beas meet in the upstream of Harika Barrage.
People’s organisations in Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh districts have held several protests over polluted water coming from Punjab, which causes water-borne diseases. In April 2019, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot wrote to his Punjab counterpart, Captain Amarinder Singh, for supply of clean water to the state.
Punjab has set up 69 sewage treatment plants in the catchement areas of Sutlej and Bear rivers, and five more are under construction. Two CEPTs have also been set up for industrial effluent. The Punjab government alsoplans to start75 STPs in villages in the Sutlej catchment area; construction of four of these is complete.