UPSET BY the callousness of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) and the Jalandhar district administration over the discharge of highly toxic effluent into the rainwater drain, Kala Sanghia drain, PPCB member and environmentalist Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal visited all the spots where this effluent was being discharged with a team of mediapersons on Monday and urged people to take direct action instead of depending on the government anymore.
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Media was shown how this drain has become a den of diseases for villages located on both sides of it and people were suffering from skin, stomach, hair and nail diseases due to use of this water for drinking and irrigation purposes.
Seechewal said he failed to understand why in the past nine years, even after having sufficient treatment plants, still the untreated sewer water of the city and effluents of various tanneries at Leather Complex Jalandhar were being discharged into the Kala Sanghian drain right under the nose of PPCB and the district administration.
“I have been raising this matter for the past nine years at every meeting of PPCB with Punjab CM PS Badal and district administration, but no one is ready to act in this direction while people living along this drain have been dying of diseases like cancer, jaundice and also suffering from chronic skin ailments,” Baba Seechewal told the media.
This drain is a rainwater drain which finally flows into the Sutlej and the water is used for drinking purposes both in the Malwa region of the state as well as in Rajasthan.
“There are 50 MLD sewer water treatment plants in Basti Peer Dad and 5-MLD ‘Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETP)’ in the leather complex. But, neither Jalandhar Municipal Corporation is ready to operate 50 MLD plant nor leather complex runs its plant in full capacity,” said Seechewal.
The environmentalist said it is pathetic that both the district administration and PPCB officials could not stop this dsicharge of effluents all these years.
Seechewal demanded action against all those responsible for running these treatment plants and playing with the lives of people.