Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday said a comprehensive action plan had been prepared to check pollution levels in the Beas and Sutlej rivers as well as to restore the water quality of the state’s rivers. Responding to a call attention notice by AAP MLA from Kotkapura Kultar Singh Sandhwan on the third day of the budget session, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said given its seriousness, the state government would also take up the issue with the Centre.
Mr. Sandhwan had said that the water of Sutlej and Beas had become polluted because of the factory waste being discharged into it and the contaminated water had allegedly given rise to cancer cases in the state. Mr. Singh informed the House,
Our government is seriously concerned about it and we are committed to restore water quality of state’s rivers and have prepared a comprehensive plan in consultation with all departments.
The chief minister said that he had already constituted a committee under the chairmanship of the chief secretary, with the concerned administrative secretaries as members, for the regular monitoring of pollution levels in the rivers. Listing some of the major steps initiated by the state to check river water pollution, the CM informed that that 11 Sewerage Treatment Plants (STP) were installed in 19 towns, and 12 new STPs would be installed in 10 towns by December 31, 2020.
One STP was being upgraded and would be made functional by December 31, 2019, treatment ponds will be provided in 125 villages by June 30, 2020, and 350 cusecs of water would be released from Mukerian Hydel Channel into the Holy Bein, Mr. Singh said.
The state health minister Brahm Mohindra further told the House that the newly recruited police personnel in the state were likely to be imparted with driving skills to help them discharge their duties more efficaciously. The assurance was given by the minister on behalf of the chief minister, who authorised him to respond to the call attention by MLA Dharambir Agnihotri regarding no such training being given to recruits at the Police Training Centre at Jahaan Khelan, District Hoshiarpur.
He stated that in case four-wheeler training programme was to be included in the basic curriculum then the necessary infrastructure and training staff had to be provided and training duration would also be extended, the feasibility of which was being examined by the government.
Punjab Revenue minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria assured the House that because of variation in discharge in river Beas in Kapurthala, only a portion of land in villages Safdarpur and Bajja had eroded while other villages remained unaffected.
To avoid any mishap in future, the department has prepared an estimate of Rs 50 lakh for construction of studs and revetments filled with sand at one of the sites of erosion.
He was replying to the call attention notice of Aman Arora, Kultar Singh Sandhwan and Gurpartap Singh Wadala who sought to draw attention of minister towards damage being caused by the river to agriculture land of villages Safdarpur, Arian Juggian in Kapurthala.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.