State prepares action plan to tackle Ghaggar pollution - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

State prepares action plan to tackle Ghaggar pollution


State prepares action plan to tackle Ghaggar pollution

Aman Sood

Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 6

Untreated industrial, sewage and sullage waste from villages and towns of the state and Himachal are the primary source of pollution in the Ghaggar river and also causing underground pollution in villages surrounding the water body. This was stated in the findings of the Ghaggar Action Plan report prepared by the state government. Following National Green Tribunal orders of 2018, the state government wants to ensure that “water quality in the Ghaggar is maintained”.

The NGT in its order dated August 2018 directed the state government to restore the standard of water quality in the Ghaggar to the prescribed level. The NGT also constituted an executing committee under the Chairmanship of Justice Pritam Pal, state-level task force under Chief Secretary and district-level task force under the Deputy Commissioner to monitor the compliance of the order. The NGT wants an action plan within “for bringing all polluted river stretches to be fit at least for bathing purposes”.

As per report, 29 local bodies are discharging their wastewater either directly or indirectly into the Ghaggar. Meanwhile, there are 387 villages, which are discharging wastewater through various creeks and drains into the river. The report prepared in coordination with the Punjab Pollution Control Board has identified sources of wastewater falling into the river at various towns and cities located in the catchment area of the river.

“The quality of water at a few locations has degraded which may pose a threat of water-borne diseases to people residing in the catchment area of the river. The river being an unlined water body and the polluted water flowing in it might have deteriorated the groundwater quality in the catchment area. In order to ascertain the extent of affect of polluted water of the river on the health of inhabitants, the state government has planned to hold health camps,” reads the report, a copy of which is with The Tribune.

As of now, of 31 towns, which are discharging their wastewater into the river, a total of 38 seweage treatment plants (STPs) need to be installed out of which 22 STPs have already been installed, three are under installation and remaining 13 are under various stages of planning for establishment.

Sources say lack of funds to install and run these plants is a major deterrent that the river pollution continues unabated, despite the state holding meetings over the issue of Ghaggar pollution since 2008.

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