Punjab Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu Saturday announced that he will soon approach environmentalist Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal to find a solution to the problem of polluted Buddha Nullah stream in Ludhiana. Sidhu, who was in Ludhiana to inspect sewage cleaning through super-suction machines, said, “Buddha Nullah, one the most polluted streams in Punjab, is not only affecting Ludhiana but also the rest of Sutlej river, that flows till Rajasthan and Pakistan.”
“I am aware of Buddha Nullah’s pollution in Ludhiana. The solution has to be found and I have decided to approach Baba Seechewal about this. We would request him to prepare a model to clean Buddha Nullah,” said Sidhu.
Seechewal is credited with single-handed cleaning and restoration of Kali Bein, a rivulet that flows through Sultanpur Lodhi in Doaba, with his active team of environmentalist volunteers and awareness campaigns. Sidhu also said that he would discuss the matter with Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. “Soon, a project would be launched to clean the polluted Buddha Nullah,” said Sidhu.
Buddha Nullah is a stream that originates in Ludhiana and meets river Sutlej at Wallipur and Jainpur villages. The state and central governments have already spent close to Rs 550 crore in the past to clean the stream but the pollution levels have only increased.
On April 23, 2011, former Union Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh had inaugurated bio-remediation project for Buddha Nullah and bacteria was released near Wallipur to cleanse the stream. The level of pollution was so high that bacteria failed to grow. In 2014, former CM Parkash Singh Badal had hired Delhi-based firm, Engineers India Limited (EIL), to clean the stream and prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for Rs 3.4 crore but the work never started.
Sidhu added that out of 64 Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) in Punjab, established during the SAD-BJP rule, only three are functional. He blamed SAD-BJP government for negligence and said that crores were spent to establish STPs but they were never maintained.