A COMMON Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) in the industrial town of Ludhiana has been under construction for the past decade because of a delay in release of a grant by the Punjab government as well as the Centre. The dyeing industry of Ludhiana has therefore knocked on the doors of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which is scheduled to hear the matter via video conferencing on Monday.
Sources said 32 acres of land were allotted to the Dyeing Association of Ludhiana in 2010, for which they were to pay rent as well.
“For two years, we paid Rs 1.44 crore per annum rent to the government. The construction work was nowhere in sight, hence we stopped paying rentals after 2012 and in 2014, we had surrendered 14 acres of land to the government. They agreed not to charge us any more rent. A detailed project report of CETP was made with a cost of Rs 1.25 crore again contributed by the industry and the CETP installation cost including sewer lines laying was Rs 437 crore,” said Bobby Jindal, general secretary of the Punjab Dyers’ Association.
Sources said this project was later shelved till 2016 end as assistance from the Centre was only for Rs 15 crore, while the state’s contribution was Rs 7.5 crore and industrialists were unable to raise the rest of the money on their own.
Later, instead of one common CETP, it was decided that three CETPs would be installed for dyeing industries located in respective areas.
This way, a Rs 34 crore CETP was planned for 22 dyeing units at Bahadurke Road while Rs 55 crore and 50 crore CETPs were allotted for 122 units at Tajpur road and 66 units of Focal Point respectively. While the CETP of Bahadurke Road had been made operational, the remaining two are still under construction.
Jindal said, “In 2017, the new government came to power in Punjab. After that we have got only Rs 1.5 crore each for Tajpur road and Focal Point CETPs, due to which the Centre released Rs 3 crore each for both units. Now we need the remaining Rs 6 crore each grant from the state and afterwards the Centre will release Rs 12 crore each for both CETPs.
The remainder is to be contributed by industrialists themselves. As of now we are operating our effluent treatment plants (ETPs) installed inside, but once CETPs start operating, it will add the load of all units directly in the CETP for treatment.”
Though dyeing units claim to operate their own ETPs as of now, the Buddha Nullah, in which water of most dyeing units is released, is still polluted.
The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) often conducts raids on dyeing units and penalises them for not using ETPs.
Hence, questions have been raised against the state government for not releasing funds for CETPs, which can thus control pollution levels in the Buddah Nullah as well as the Sutlej river. Meanwhile, the sewer supply lines which have to carry effluents from factories till CETPs have been laid already in Tajpur road and Focal Point at a cost of Rs 15 crore and Rs 20 crore respectively, said sources.
Karunesh Garg, member secretary, PPCB, said, “Grant has to be released by the finance department and it will be released within a week. Due to covid, release of funds had not happened.
Once CETPs are made operational, monitoring of all 250 dyeing units will be easy. Though they are using ETPs, a number of them are penalised for not following norms. Hence CETP can solve the problem to a great extent. The CETP of Bahadurke road with 15 million litres water per day (MLD) has been made operational.
The two others with 40 and 50 MLD capacity are yet to be made operational. We are hopeful of getting grants released within a week.”
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