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NGT Monitoring Committee visits Moga, assesses situation in 5 Punjab Districts

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Moga, March 4, 2021 (Yes Punjab News)
To assess the situation in five districts viz Moga, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Faridkot and Shri Muktsar Sahib, due to discharge of untreated water and sewage into drains and other water bodies, a special meeting of the Monitoring Committee of the National Green Tribunal was held today here. Committee reviewed the progress and performance of Sewerage Treatment Plants (STP’s).

The meeting was presided over by the Chairman of the Committee Justice Jasbir Singh (Retd.). Prominent amongst those present in the meeting included committee member Mr SC Agarwal Retired Chief Secretary Punjab Government, Environmentalist Sant Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal, Dr Babu Ram, Deputy Commissioners and officials of the above districts.

During the meeting, Justice Jasbir Singh informed that in the case of Vikram Ahuja versus State of Punjab, the National Green Tribunal has directed the Monitoring Committee to take steps to address the problem in the Malwa region, especially in the Fazilka district.

The committee will send a report on the conduct of the meeting to the National Green Tribunal. He directed the Deputy Commissioners to ensure a review of the overall performance of the Sewage Treatment Plants being set up in the aforesaid districts in monthly meetings.

He said that water quality in drains was very poor. Efforts in this direction have significantly improved the situation, but much remains to be done. If the health of people and animals is to be taken into consideration, then this issue is very serious in which any kind of laxity will not be tolerated.

He said that the conditions created due to the discharge of untreated water and sewage in about 22 drains and other water bodies passing through these districts were not conducive to humanity. To rectify these conditions, it is necessary to install Sewage Treatment Plants at the required places and to operate them properly.

He directed the officers to ensure proper operation and maintenance of the sewage treatment plants which have been commissioned. Those that have not yet been activated should be activated as soon as possible. Tenders of contractors who do not work should be cancelled due to departmental action and work should be given to new companies.

He asked the committees of the local government department to make timely payment for the Sewage Treatment Plants. He said that Punjab Government was considering that in future these Sewage Treatment Plants should be paid for directly by the government.

He said that the decision of the government regarding old arrears and new monthly instalments was going to be taken soon. Improve the disposal system of old sewage treatment plants. Keep a record of the mud coming out of them.

He directed the canal department that the groundwater in these areas was not potable due to bacteria. Therefore, on the lines of other districts, a plan should be made to provide canal drinking water to the said districts in the same manner. Moghas should be constructed for agricultural needs.

He suggested that some drains were running clean and efforts could be made to develop their banks as tourist destinations. He said that solid and liquid waste from drains and ponds could be a boon for agriculture. It should be used wisely.

He asked the Punjab Pollution Control Board and the Water Supply and Sanitation Department to check the water of 10 Handpumps in the said areas every 15 days. If the water is not potable, turn off the pumps. The health department was directed to make the people aware of health problems. He said that soon this would be reviewed again.

During the meeting, Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal said that clean drinking water and climate are issues related to humanity. Therefore, the authorities should also fulfil their moral duty. Efforts should be continued to keep the environment clean and treated water should be used for crops.

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