No let-up in industrial waste influx into Buddha Nullah in Ludhiana
A state-level team, which visited the Buddha Nullah and sewer treatment plants (STP) in the city on Wednesday, found direct influx of industrial waste into the water body. Direct outlets of sewer and dairies were also found at Tajpur Road.
The team located a direct outlet of industrial waste at Tajpur Road and pulled up Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) officials. The officials were asked to identify defaulters and take strict action. Sources in the MC said the PPCB officials claimed waste was not that of industries, however, discoloured water raised some eyebrows. The team, led by Punjab Municipal Infrastructure Development Company (PMIDC) chief executive officer (CEO) Ajoy Sharma inspected STPs and different sites of the Buddha Nullah for around five hours from 6am. DC Pradeep Agrawal and MC commissioner Jaskiran Singh also accompanied him.
The MC officials said the STPs have low capacity in comparison to the needs of the city and added that they need to be upgraded.
After the issue of pollution in water bodies of Punjab was raised by the National Green Tribunal, the state government initiated action and ₹995 crores were allocated for cleaning of the nullah. The visit on Wednesday was also a part of the exercise. Starting from the treatment plant at Tajpur Road, the team visited Khasi Kalan, STPs in Balloke, Bhatian and Jamalpur.
‘Regular inspections of treatment plants’
The team directed the MC officials to regularly inspect the working of STPs. In its meeting with the team, cabinet minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu and MP Ravneet Singh Bittu among other recommended raising boundary walls of the nullah and setting up of a common treatment plant at Walipur Kalan where it meets Sutlej. The MC officials said a committee has been formed to identify direct disposal points. MLA (central) Surinder Dawar said, “Authorities should come up with a treatment plant at Walipur Kalan. If an industry spills polluted water, it can be treated there and industries can be charged for the same,” he said.
‘MC received no funds to clean nullah in last 18 yrs’
Despite the tall claims made by political leaders and committees formed to make the Buddha Nullah pollution-free, the Ludhiana civic body has not received a penny from the Centre or state government for its cleaning in last 18 years. In response to a query under the RTI Act by activist Rohit Sabharwal, the
MC said it also received no grant from any MP or MLA. The MC, however, added that it spent ₹8 crores from 2000 on desilting of nullah. “The government and public representatives make efforts, but these are only limited to photo op,” Sabbarwal said.