Punjab government on Monday decided to fast track the cleaning work of three major rivers Sutlej, Beas and Ghaggar rivers.
Punjab Pollution Control Board chairman Ravinder Singh said that the Chief Minister Punjab is weekly monitoring the progress of this project and Punjab Pollution Control Board was taking all steps to complete this project within stipulated timeline.
“To control domestic pollution, 45 towns located on or near the banks of these rivers have been selected for the installation of Sewage Treatments Plants to stop the discharge of untreated effluent into these Rivers,” Singh said, adding that the work in 37 the towns of river Satluj and Beas has already been started and some of the Sewage Treatments Plants have already been commissioned and are in operation.
Singh further said that 19 Sewage Treatments Plants in various cities have already been installed and in order to stop the discharge of treated domestic sewage from these STPs into Rivers, the Department of Soil Conservation and Irrigation have prepared irrigation schemes at the cost of Rs. 333.90 crores to utilize the treated effluent for irrigation in the command area available.
“Some of the cities, like Anandpur Sahib, this project has already been implemented and whole of the treated effluent from the city is being utilized for irrigation purposes in nearby fields. Thus, no effluent from this city is being discharged into river Sutlej now,” he said.
He said that for the control of industrial pollution in these rivers all the industries located on the catchment area of River Sutlej have been persuaded successfully to install their individual treatment plants.
“Punjab Pollution Control Board was receiving major complaints against two major industries of Naya Nangal, M/s NFL & PACL who were discharging effluents directly in the river Sutlej that was adversely affecting the fish population,” Singh added.
He added that they had been persuaded to change over to ZLD technology, resulting in no discharge of trade effluent from these industries into river Sutlej after that no incident of fish killing due to discharge of industrial effluents in river Sutlej is reported in last two years.
“Treatment plants have been provided for industrial and domestic effluent of GGSTP (Thermal Plant Ropar) and authorities are successfully persuaded to re-utilize treated effluents within plant and for plantation purposes,” he added.