After the administration and Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) drastically failed to meet its dead line of 2008 to preserve the natural water source Kala Sanghia drain from becoming more polluted,the people living close to it today announced to take direct action to block the flow of dirty water. The rural people have set a deadline of February 22 to take up the cleaning project.
Highly polluted discharge from the leather industry,surgical complex and sewerage of Municipal Corporation,Jalandhar,has flooded the drain,which was constructed to store rain water for irrigation of nearly 70 villages located on its either sides.
A meeting of sarpanchs,religious leaders and environmentalist was conducted in Jalandhar today under the leadership of environmentalist Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal where it was decided that various bundhs would be raised near the leather complex,surgical complex and at the discharge points of sewerage of the Municipal Corporation.
A similar attempt was made on February 23,2008,by Seechewal and the drain was blocked. The administration had then pleaded the people to remove the blockade and called a meeting of all departments,including the corporation and pollution board and set one month deadline to set everything right.
But after two years,the administration has done nothing to stop the flow of pollutants.
Nearly 100 people from 19 villages live under toxic conditions. Their land,water and grains have turned highly poisonous. Hide and skin pieces are visible in the water. In fact,it was difficult to move in these villages,including Gajipur,Chamiara and Nahal.
A survey in the area,on the orders of Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC),had stated that owing to high polluting materials in the drain,people living in the villages alongside the drain,have been suffering from the scabies,skin cancer,eye diseases,jaundice etc.
The ground water up to 200 feet in the area is polluted.
The drain is about 80 km long and goes into Sutlej and people in Malwa drink the same water.
In the meeting Baba Daya Singh,and NRI Wattan Singh were also present to support the action on the coming February 22.