From Beas, contaminated water enters feeder canals for south Punjab, Rajasthan
Residents in Faridkot, from where the Sirhind Feeder passes, reported a stench, and the district administration thus halted water supply to the town from the canal until the situation normalises.punjab Updated: May 20, 2018 10:12 IST
After Beas river saw a spill of molasses from a sugar mill in Gurdaspur that apparently killed hundreds of fish, the Rajasthan Feeder and Sirhind Feeder canals taking water from it saw their water turning black, too, on Saturday. Water in these canals comes from the Harike reservoir which too has seen the blackness from molasses that allegedly reduced oxygen in the water.
Residents in Faridkot, from where the Sirhind Feeder passes, reported a stench, and the district administration thus halted water supply to the town from the canal until the situation normalises. Additional water has been released to dilute the effect of the molasses.Faridkot, Muktsar and Fazilka districts get water for irrigation and other purposes from Sirhind Feeder, while Rajasthan Feeder serves Hanumangarh, Suratgarh and Bikaner, even up to Jaisalmer, in that state. Further, Gang Canal is formed from the Sirhind Feeder which serves Sri Ganganagar district of Rajasthan.
Raising concerns, oncologist Manjit Singh Jaura said, “Most cases of cancer are related to pollution. Drainage of industrial waste into rivers has long-term effects on humans.”
Punjab Pollution Control Board chairman Kahan Singh Pannu said, “We have been tackling the situation. Water for drinking will not be affected as it gets filtered through the reverse osmosis (RO) systems.”Principal secretary, irrigation, Jaspal Singh said, “We are expecting normalcy to return very soon as we have released more than 1000 cusecs of more water.”
Meanwhile, the Rajasthan water department officials said contaminated water flows in the canals “regularly”. The state’s principal secretary, water resources, Shikhar Aggarwal, said, “We have raised the issue of contaminated water in canals at every platform for several years, but nothing has changed. We have sent our teams to Punjab during the monsoon season in the past for samples, which underline the contamination.”
Sri Ganganagar district collector Gyana Ram said, “We have directed officials to take samples from Gang Canal.”