May 18, 2015 4:16:34 am
BY VIVEK GUPTA
In a recent communication, the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC) has again raised the issue of rising pollution level in seasonal rivulet Patiala Ki Rao, which passes through the Union Territory, with the Punjab Pollution Control Board.
The CPCC’s letter, which is the second in six months, says that samples collected from Patiala Ki Rao at its entry point to Chandigarh near Khuda Lahora in September last year had shown a level of biological oxygen demand (BOD) which was almost three times the standards for discharge into land surface streams.
It asked Punjab to take up construction of a sewage treatment plant at Nayagaon urgently.
Patiala ki Rao carries untreated sewage from Nayagaon, Kansal, Nada villages and other areas of the notified area committee of Nayagaon. The recently notified Chandigarh Master Plan-2031 warned that if the situation remained unabated, it was likely to pollute the city’s sub-soil water in future.
The pollution of Patiala ki Rao has increased in recent years due to a significant increase in Nayagaon’s population in view of its proximity with Chandigarh.
CPCC member secretary Pawan Jit Singh Dadhwal told Newsline, “The high level of BOD clearly indicates that water quality of this river does not meet the standards before entering into Chandigarh due to untreated sewage discharge. Therefore, there is an urgent need to set up a sewage treatment plant at Nayagaon.”
But the different agencies in Punjab seem to be passing the buck.
Babu Ram, member secretary of the Punjab Pollution Control Board, said that they had conducted a survey of the area and asked the Punjab Sewage Board to start work on setting up a sewage treatment plant and a sewage line at Nayagaon.
When contacted, Sewage Board Chief Engineer V K Garg said, “The budget of Rs 54 crore has been approved for setting up the STP and the sewage line. The work will start soon after Nayagaon’s civic body hands over the land to us.’’
But Nayagaon has so far not acquired the land earmarked for the STP in its master plan. Executive officer Jagjit Singh said that there was unauthorised construction on the land, but recently the Punjab and Haryana High Court gave a decision in their favour.
“But since it is private land, the land acquisition agency is waiting for some clarifications on the new land bill before acquiring it,” he said.
Former Chandigarh chief architect Sumit Kaur said pollution of the city’s seasonal rivulet was a serious issue. “The UT Administration needs to pursue the matter with the Punjab government so that there is an early solution to the problem,” she said.
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