AHEAD OF a hearing at the National Green Tribunal pertaining to pollution in Punjab’s water that flows into Rajasthan, a team of activists from the latter visited Jalandhar and Ludhiana on Monday. The team collected water samples from several drains, Buddha Nullah, a polluted drain in Ludhiana and Sutlej river and also took photographs. It will sumbit a report to the NGT on October 9.
A PIL had been filed by Rajasthan at the NGT against the Punjab government a couple of years back owing to the increasing level of pollution in that state. In Rajasthan, around 2 crore people of eight districts – Hanumangarh, Ganganagar, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jodhpur, Nagaur and Churu – have been consuming the water of Indira Gandhi Canal, which draws water from Sutlej.
The team comprised Shabnam Godra, Rajendra Prasad, Naveen Sethi and Ravindra Bhobia. They have been monitoring level of pollution of Sutlej, Chitti Bein, Kala Sanghia drain and Budha Nullah in Ludhiana as water from all these flows into the Sutlej. The water of Sutlej is used for drinking in the Malwa belt of Punjab and eight districts of Rajasthan. Environmentalist Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal also accompanied the activists.
Rajendra Prasad said as the pollution of water reaching Rajasthan has been increasing, they had come to take samples and submit them to NGT. “Due to the consumption of this intoxicant water, the number of cancer cases has increased manifold in our area,” he said.
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