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‘Foul Chitti Bein behind cancer surge in Doaba’

Member of Punjab Pollution Control Board and environmentalist Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal has prepared a startling report about hundreds of cancer cases which have come to light after a survey in the villages located close to the highly polluted Chitti Bein in Doaba region.

Report prepared by Baba Seechewal based on survey in four dozen villages set along the rivulet

Member of Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) and environmentalist Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal has prepared a startling report about hundreds of cancer cases which have come to light after a survey in the villages located close to the highly polluted Chitti Bein (rivulet) in Doaba region.

The report,to be handed over shortly to the Punjab Government,Punjab Health Department,PPCB and the Deputy Commissioners of Jalandhar and Kapurthala districts of Doaba region,was prepared by Baba Seechewal after a survey of over four dozen villages located on both sides of the highly polluted Bein which flows in the entire Doaba region and merges in river Sutlej near Lohia in Jalandhar.

In a door-to-door survey of these villages by a team of lecturers and teachers of Sant Avtar Singh Yadgari college,Seechewal,Jalandhar,it has come to light that nearly 150 cancer deaths have already taken place and nearly 300 patients are suffering from the disease in nearly 30 villages located on the banks of Chitti Bein.

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Of this number,60 per cent are women and 15 per cent are children,said the Baba while adding that earlier Malwa was in the grip of cancer and now Doaba too is witnessing many such cases.

In village Jahangir near Nakodar,16 cancer deaths have already taken place while nine patients are suffering from the disease,said Baba Seechewal and added that,“In villages like Gursar,Kangna,Seham Tihara,Girjewal,Sherpur Dona,Issewal etc over 40 cancer deaths have taken place in the last few years”.

Apart from hundreds of cases of hepatitis,black jaundice,asthma and chronic skin diseases were noticed in these villages. People had medical reports which showed that due to polluted water and air they were suffering from various dieses,said Baba Seechewal.

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“If fair tests of water and eatables are conducted on the land of these villages,nothing but poisonous elements would come out in the food chain,which got corrupted owing to discharge of industrial pollution into natural water sources like Chitti Bein which further led to seepage of pollution into earth,” added Baba Seechewal.

Even a visit to many of these villages by The Indian Express revealed that people are virtually living in a watery hell as there was a stink all over in the air.

Baba Seechewal said that neither political representatives of the area nor PPCB have been taking any interest in cleaning the highly polluted water,which is being consumed by the people of these villages.

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Even the water samples taken from these villages for test purposes had shown total dissolved solids (TDS) in drinking water up to 1800 to 2000 at various places while TDS limit in drinking water should not exceed the limit of 150 to 180,mentioned in the report.

Principal Secretary Health Punjab Satish Chandra,when contacted,said that due to consumption of polluted water many diseases can be caused and it is the duty of the Municipal Corporation,and the Industry and Pollution Control Board to check the discharge of dirty waters into these natural water drains.

First published on: 19-04-2011 at 04:09 IST
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