Badal tells officials to monitor effluents

May 20th, 2011 - 2:11 am ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, May 20 (IANS) A day after environmentalist Balbir Singh Seechewal and his supporters blocked a drain near Jalandhar as it was carrying toxic effluents into a river, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Thursday told state pollution control board officials to keep a close tab on the flow of effluents and municipal waste.

At a high-level meeting here, Badal asked the board to set up a 24 hour camp office regularly monitor the inflow of industrial effluents and sewage into the river waters and warned no laxity would be tolerated.

He said that the newly created camp office would be manned by an officer not below the rank of executive engineer.

Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) member secretary Babu Ram said that the effluents from 61 tanneries, which had joined the common effluent treatment plant (CETP) in the leather complex, Jalandhar, were now discharging 100 percent treated water into the drain.

He said that local electro-plating units had also set up their individual effluent treatment plants to ensure discharge of treated water in to the Kala Sangian drain.

Badal asked engineers to prepare an action plan to utilize the treated water for the irrigation purposes in a time bound manner.

Supported by tens of hundreds of people, eco-warrior Seechewal Wednesday launched a direct public action against the Jalandhar administration. He plugged the drain, carrying untreated municipal waste and industrial pollutants, from falling into Satluj river.

Seechewal, who is already known for cleaning contaminated rivers in this area, had given a 25-day ultimatum to the district administration to take immediate action to stop the discharge of polluted water into Kala Sanghian drain that further falls into Satluj river.

However, on seeing no action, Seechewal and his supporters, from Punjab, Haryana and even Rajasthan, themselves made a makeshift dam, Wednesday afternoon, by placing the sand bags and successfully blocked the Kala Sanghian drain.

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