TO ADDRESS the issue of depleting water level of Sukhna Lake, the Chandigarh Administration is planning to use treated tertiary water to fill the man-made lake.
Over the years, the water level of the lake has been declining due to heavy silting and deficient rainfall in the past six years has added to the problem.
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation treats around 30 million gallons of waste water per day (MGD), of which only around 7 MGD is being used by the city residents for irrigation and other purposes while the remaining water goes down the drain. The civic body spends around Rs 1 crore every year on treating waste water.
The environment department is now exploring the possibility of utilising the tertiary water after further treating it to maintain the water level of the lake. For this, the department has asked a firm to install its equipment at the Sector 28-based tertiary water distribution centre.
UT director (environment) Santosh Kumar says that the firm will treat the tertiary water for a period of one month on a trial basis. The Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC) will analyse the water samples and if all the parameters – biological oxygen demand (BOD), total suspended solids (TSS), potassium hydrogen (PH) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) – are found to be within permissible limits, then the water will be used to fill the lake. A pipe line will be laid for supplying water to the lake.
The administration in the past had mooted a proposal of using tertiary water to maintain the water level of the lake, but it was dropped after experts objected to the use of tertiary water as it would damage the lake.
However, experts support the idea of using tertiary water after treating it. Yogesh Kumar Rawal, assistant professor at Department of Zoology, Panjab University, who has done a study on Sukhna Lake, asserts that treated tertiary water is a good option for filling the lake. “Treated tertiary water will not cause any damage to the lake. Instead of using fresh water, the authorities should go for treated tertiary water,” he says.
Rawal says that there should not be much variation in the quality of water in the lake and quality of treated tertiary water.
The high court had taken suo motu notice of the depletion in water level in Sukhna Lake in 2009 and since then had
been monitoring the case. On the directions of the HC, the administration has also sought suggestions from Tricity residents for saving Sukhna. The proposal has also been submitted to amicus curiae in the case advocate Tanu Bedi.