Pollution in Punjab rivers: NGT orders inspection, seeks report in 2 weeks
The tribunal’s order came on a plea by legislators of the Aam Aadmi Party from Punjab seeking directions to protect Beas and Satluj rivers from sewage and other pollutants from sugar mills.punjab Updated: May 24, 2018 20:21 IST
On a plea by legislators of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) from Punjab alleging pollution in the rivers Beas and Sutlej, the National Green Tribunal on Thursday sought response from the Centre and the Punjab government on the issue and ordered inspection of the areas with a two-week deadline for the report.
Ordering a joint inspection by Central Pollution Control Board and the state board, a bench headed by acting chairperson justice Jawad Rahim issued notices to the Union ministries of environment and forests (MoEF), and water resources, and to the Central Ground Water Authority, Rajasthan government, and others.
Beas has been in focus particularly because dead fish and other aquatic animals have been found floating after a molasses spill in the river from a sugar mill in Gurdaspur district. The bench said, “We direct CPCB and state pollution control board to conduct joint inspections of the areas indicated in the application, collect samples from both the rivers including the spots alleged in the application. The collection point shall be upstream and downstream and from the discharge point and also from the drain namely Buddha Nullah.”
“The samples collected shall be preserved in three sets. One sample will be subjected for chemical analysis. Report of the samples collected shall be prepared by the joint inspection team. The report of the joint inspection shall be filed before the tribunal within two weeks from now,” the bench said, posting the matter for hearing on July 17.
The tribunal’s order came on a plea filed by AAP MLAs Sukhpal Singh Khaira (Bholath), Nazar Singh Mansahia (Mansa) and Rupinder Kaur Ruby (Bathinda Rural) seeking directions to protect Beas and Satluj rivers from sewage and other pollutants from sugar mills. The plea claimed that the pollution in the river was caused due to leakage of molasses which was being discharged from sugar industries, resulting in destruction of aquatic flora and fauna. They also produced photographs along with their petition showing dead fish spilling out of the rivers and floating near the banks.
First Published: May 24, 2018 19:55 IST