As a follow up of the decision taken in the Northern Zonal Council meeting held under the chairmanship of Union Home Minister Sh. Rajnath Singh as per the proposal of Punjab Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, a joint meeting of the Chief Secretaries of all the three states including the senior officers of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh was held today to resolve the issues related to pollution in river water in these States.

During the meeting, it was informed that River Satluj is mainly being polluted in Himachal Pradesh by industries of Golthai, Mehatpur and Nalagarh area. After detailed deliberations it was decided that joint sampling and monitoring on quarterly basis will be done by the officials of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh near these industrial areas to effectively check the water quality in these rivers.

State of Punjab shall complete all 18 Sewage Treatment Plants on various locations of River Satluj by 30.6.2016. Various initiatives being taken by Punjab State to reduce pollution in river Satluj include connection of untapped points of Anandpur Sahib town to STP, Utilization of treated sewage for Irrigation purpose, cleaning of Budha Nallah by installing bio gas power plant, stoppage of garbage/solid waste into Budha Nallah, cleaning of Kala Sanghian drain etc. Further various initiatives have been taken by the State to reduce Industrial pollution of companies like NFL Nangal, PACL Nangal, Thermal Plant Ropar , Dying & Electroplating companies in Ludhiana.

Detailed deliberations were also made on various options to reduce the pollution in river Ghaggar which originates from Sirmour Hills (Himachal Pradesh) and passes through District Mohali, Patiala, Sangrur and Mansa in Punjab. It was informed that untreated industrial effluent and domestic effluent from the industrial area of Nahan, Parwanoo, Kala Amb etc is polluting river Ghaggar.
Chief Secretary Himachal Pradesh mentioned that the locations where river Ghaggar is getting polluted have been identified and 5 Sewage Treatment plants including at Parwanu, Kala Amb, and Baddi will be made operational soon. The sources of pollution identified for river Ghaggar from Haryana State included Sukhna Choe, Singh Nallah, Gazipur Nallah, Ghail drain, Sagar Parra drain, Kaithal drain, waste water of Jakhal and Ratia town etc.

The officers from Haryana mentioned that a joint monitoring of the pollutants level is already being done with State of Punjab and this has resulted in reduction in pollutants level. To further reduce the pollutants, 73 Sewage Treatment Plants are being installed out of which 36 have already been commissioned and remaining will be made operational in next 6 months.

Chief Secretary mentioned that State of Punjab has also taken effective measures to reduce the pollutants in river Ghaggar. 7 STPs out of 21 planned STPs along the river Ghaggar have been completed and remaining will be made operational by 31.3.2016. Special initiatives to reduce the level of pollutants include strict vigil on polluting industries, adoption of better technology like ZLD by industries, installation of ETPs by water polluting industries in Dera Bassi. State is also in process of getting installed a CETP of capacity 2 MLD for pharmaceutical industries of Dera Bassi.

In the end, Mr. Kaushal appreciated the work being done by the State to clean the river water. Prominent amongst others who were present in the meeting included the Mr. P Mitra, Chief Secretary Himachal Pradesh, Mr. Alok Nigam, Additional Chief Secretary, Public Health Engineering Haryana ,Mr. G. Vajralingam, Principal Secretary Science, Technology & Environment, Mr. K A P Sinha, Secretary Science, Technology & Environment, Mr. D K Tiwari, CEO PWSSB apart from other officials of the concerned departments.

Source: October 06, 2015, Punjab News Express