STRESSING the need to ensure proper disposal of sewage in villages across the state, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Punjab government to take a policy decision on the matter and asked its Chief Secretary to place on record the decision on the issue in court or remain present personally.
According to the order passed by Justice Amol Rattan Singh, the government has to take the decision with regard to the policy within next three months and place it before the court on March 5, 2019. The Court has further stressed on the need to implement the policy within a realistic time frame.
The bench had taken suo motu cognizance of the issue in a civil case and said that issue regarding disposal of the sewage is actually a problem in the entire state that leads to serious health hazard.
The direction has been passed by the bench following Department of Water Supply & Sanitation, Secretary Jaspreet Talwar’s submission before the court that though the state government has been attempting to ensure proper disposal of sewage in the villages but the measures being taken are not found to be adequate and a policy decision is necessary in this regard.
Stating that since more than one departments are connected to the issue, the Court has asked the Chief Secretary to look into the matter immediately.
Justice Singh has said that with every household now having water closets, but without any proper disposal system, it is resulting in disposal of the sewage in the village ponds. The water of the ponds is thereafter consumed by cattle including milch cows, who naturally ingest all kinds of diseases and harmful germs due to the polluted water, the court has said, adding it further reaches human beings by way of the milk supply.
“This is other than the fact that very often children, especially of the ‘lower strata’ of society in villages, play next to the ponds where incidents also have happened of children falling into the polluted water, leading to disease and sickness which are caused by such pollution,” the order reads, adding the people can possibly be also charged for the sewage facilities.