Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, July 22
While April 10 had been fixed as the deadline to stop the dumping of wastes into the Kali Bein and the Kala Sangian drain, months before the 550th Parkash Utsav celebrations at Sultanpur Lodhi, effluents from various points, including STPs, continue to flow into the Kali Bein.
The Punjab Pollution Control Board has issued a notice to the Chairman of the Jalandhar Development Authority for the dumping of effluents into the holy Kali Bein. The PPCB in a face-saving exercise has asked the JDA Chairman to appear before the PPCB Chairman in the first week of August. Prosecution is also being filed against the Executive Officer of the Kapurthala MC within a couple of days.
However, with majority stakeholders continuing to dump sewage into the drain and STPs still non-functional, residents term it eyewash to save face in tomorrow’s NGT monitoring committee meet. Harbinder Singh, Senior Environmental Engineer, said, “A notice has been issued to the Chairman of the Jalandhar Development Authority to appear before the Chairman of the PPCB in the first week of August. The prosecution of Kapurthala has been approved and we will be filing it in a couple of days. The EO of Sultanpur Lodhi has already been prosecuted about six months ago. Prosecution is being filed under the provision of the Water Act-1974 for criminal violation of polluting the local water bodies.” He said, “The Kapurthala EO has also not been able to address the issue of non-functional STP at Kapurthala citing lack of approval of funds for it.”
The PPCB said while the Kapurthala MC and Sultanpur Lodhi EC were disposing wastes directly into the water body at Kapurthala and Sultanpur Lodhi, respectively, the JDA was disposing wastes at a point opposite to the Rail Coach Factory (RCF).
However, both the residents and sewerage board members said the real issue of continual flow of effluents into the holy Bein yet remained unaddressed. Ajoy Sharma, CEO, Punjab Water and Sewerage Board, said, “Issuing notices isn’t going to help water bodies unless the real cause is addressed. A comprehensive plan is being worked out to ensure effective treatment of wastes. Majority of our STPs are functional. However, the problem exists where STPs have to be upgraded. At the Basti Peerdaad STP we are getting water more than the plant’s treating capacity. Besides industrial wastes can only be treated by CETPs. All these factors have to be considered.”
Environmentalist Balbir Singh Seechewal said, “They have been issuing notices for the past four years. But the effluents continue to fall into the Bein. Someone is dismissed or they go to court but water remains dirty.”
The PPCB in a face-saving exercise has asked the JDA Chairman to appear before the board chairman in the first week of August.
"They have been issuing notices for the past four years, but effluents continue to fall into the Bein. The STPs at Basti Peerdaad and Sultanpur Lodhi continue to remain non-functional. It’s a travesty that even before the Parkash Utsav, effluents haven’t been stopped to flow into the Bein."— Balbir Singh Seechewal, Environmentalist
"Issuing notices isn't going to help water bodies unless the real cause is addressed. A comprehensive plan is being worked out to ensure effective treatment of wastes." —Ajoy Sharma, CEO, Punjab Water and Sewerage Board