July 29, 2018 1:35:31 am
In a four-year-old case filed against Punjab and other states by a Rajasthan resident pertaining to pollution in the water sources flowing to Rajasthan, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to constitute a monitoring committee, involving environmentalist, Padma Shri Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal, a former member of Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), to take time-bound action. In the NGT order dated July 24, it is mentioned that a representative of the CPCB will be the nodal officer and a representative of Rajasthan Pollution Control Board may also be included in the committee.
The committee must have one engineer and a scientist, besides a member of the PPCB and a nominee of urban development department of the Punjab government. The NGT also directed that the monitoring committee should file its report by October 31, 2018, and the action taken must be put on CPCB website.
The directions came in the case filed on May 19, 2014,by one Shobha Singh, a resident of Chhani Badi village at Badra tehsil in Hanumangarh district, mentioning that eight districts of Rajasthan are supplied water from Indira Gandhi Canal Project (IGNP).
River Satluj and Beas merge at Harike Barrage and Rajasthan Feeder emerges from a barrage, along Firozpur feeder generating 55 RD Sirhind feeder. The IGNP is about 650 km. Various industries dump untreated pollutants in river Satluj on the way. Buddha Nallah, a tributary of river Satluj, carries untreated sewage of Ludhiana city.
In the petition, Singh had also mentioned that there is high level of inorganic and organic pollution in both the East Bein and Kala Sanghia drain.
The NGT order says that in four years, almost 50 adjournments have been granted and now it is satisfied.
“But, there is immediate need for a dedicated and qualified monitoring committee for constant monitoring so as to ensure improvement on ground level. The untreated effluents cannot be allowed to be dumped into any river or water body as it will violate fundamental right to life of the inhabitants were entitled to pollution-free and clean water,” reads the order.
Meanwhile, during the hearing of this case, the PPCB filed a status report on July 23, 2018, according to which, there is also a need to enhance the overall capacity of STPs to 650 MLD against the existing capacity of 466 MLD.
Though, it is stated that there is need to upgrade STPs/CETPS and there are other challenges, time-bound solution has not been suggested by the PPCB.
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