Despite the acute shortage of surface water, farmers are using it for irrigation. Instead of helping farmers, the Amritsar Municipal Corporation is allowing the treated water from its Gaunsabad Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) to flow into the Hudiara drain and go waste. The government had spent a huge amount on laying the sewer lines and installing the Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) under a Rs 360-cr sewer project funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Members of the Amritsar Citizen Environment Committee claimed that after spending a huge amount on the treatment of sewer water, the treated water was again being dumped into a nullah. The highly toxic water of the Tung Dhab drain is also released into the Hudiara drain and several industrial units discharge their untreated effluents into it. Both untreated industrial water and treated water are released into the same drain, which flows into Pakistan territory.

Daljit Singh Kohli, Amritsar Citizen Environment Committee, said, “It is unfortunate that the treated water is not being used anywhere. It can be used for irrigation purposes. Farmers around the treatment plant are using the surface water, further increasing the problem of water depletion. On the other hand, the treated water is being wasted. There must be provisions in the project to use the treated water and the MC should take appropriate action to use the water.”

Mayor Karamjit Singh Rintu said, “We will check the status and ask the Irrigation Department to make a proposal for proper use of the treated water. The MC does not dump untreated water in the Tung Dhab drain. The industry is releasing the untreated effluents into it and it should be stopped by the authorities concerned.”

Source: 05 August, 2021, The Tribune