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Sewage water damaging flora, fauna of Sukhna Lake reserve forest: Report

The sewage flowing from Kansal village is causing damage to flora and fauna of Sukhna Lake reserve forest and polluting the lake as well.

Written by Vinod Kumar | Chandigarh |
Updated: August 10, 2016 4:23:09 am
sewage,  Kansal village, Kansal village sewage, Sukhna Lake, Sukhna Lake Chandigarh, latest news, latest chandigarh news Sewage water coming from Kansal village area flows towards Chandigarh on Tuesday. (Credits: Jaipal Singh)

The sewage flowing from Kansal village is causing damage to flora and fauna of Sukhna Lake reserve forest and polluting the lake as well, reveals a report prepared by the UT forest and wildlife department.

The Sukhna Lake reserve forest spread over an area of 153.90 hectare (Ha) starting from Punjab and Haryana High Court ends toward Kishangarh-Saketri road near Regulator End of Sukhna Lake.

Sewerage water discharged from Kansal village passes through the lake forest area and some portion of the forest adjoining Rock Garden and Smriti Upvana remain submerged in water throughout the year. This has led to drying up of several valuable tree species in the forest area. The sewage water is also damaging habitat of sambar and other scheduled animal species found in the lake reserve forest. The reports points out that it has been noticed that a herd of sambars residing near Rock Garden are suffering from skin problems caused due to sewerage water.

The sewerage water also enters the Sukhna Lake, which is a habitat for various resident and migratory birds, during monsoon season. It has led to growth of weeds in the lake. The sewerage water has also led to accumulation of harmful waste materials like plastic bags inside the forest area, posing a threat to regional flora and fauna.

Pleas fall on Punjab govt’s deaf ears: In the past, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on a number of occasions directed the Punjab government to stop the flow of sewerage water to save Sukhna Lake. The Chandigarh Administration also wrote to the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and Principal Secretary, Local Self Government, Punjab, to stop the flow of sewerage water into the lake forest area, but no concrete steps have been taken so far.

Karan Singh, range forest officer, said that they had taken up the matter with the Punjab government on several occasions, but in vain. The matter is also pending with the National Green Tribunal, New Delhi.

Sewage water treatment: A survey of the area to find an alternative solution to the problem to save the flora and fauna from untreated waste sewerage water was carried out by the forest department.

To stop sewage water from flowing into the Sukhna Lake, the forest department has started bio-treatment of the sewage water by way of oxidation. The sewage water of Kansal is being collected in a large-sized water body and is being treated through natural bio-mechanism wherein the sewage water is passed through long channel having plants like Saccharum munja and rice straw and iron ores which lead to oxidation of the sewer water.

Santosh Kumar, chief conservator of forests, said that they had not only stopped sewage water flowing into the Sukhna Lake, but were also treating the water through natural bio-mechanism.

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