Amritsar: Tung Dhab — A ticking time bomb? : The Tribune India

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Amritsar: Tung Dhab — A ticking time bomb?

Blatant release of sewage, other pollutants into the drain a cause for concern

Amritsar: Tung Dhab — A ticking time bomb?

DRAIN BANE The NGT had passed strict orders to plug the sources, which released untreated sewage and industrial effluents into this drain, but to no avail.

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 24

Over the years, Tung Dhab drain, also known as Gumtala drain passing through the outskirts of the city, has become just a sewage discharge nullah carrying million litres of daily waste and unchecked industrial effluents.

This has to stop immediately. As the city’s urban area has expanded beyond the bypass, people residing in areas of up to 3 to 5 km of this drain are exposed to lethal fumes emanating from it 24X7 resulting in breathing disorders, allergies, skin infections and vision problem. Yogesh Kamra, secretary, Amritsar Vikas Manch

Concerned residents of the Holy City, Swiss City, Royal Estate, Guru Amardass Avenue and Ranjit Avenue with members of the Amritsar District Citizens Environment Committee recently gathered along this storm-water drain to highlight the ill-effects of air and water pollution caused by the rampant and blatant release of sewage and other pollutants into the drain.

Addressing the gathering Daljit Singh Kohli, member of Amritsar District Citizens Environment Committee, said, “Such uncontrolled pollution of water, soil and air at Tung Dhab defies all claims of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Tandarust Punjab and Smart City Missions in Amritsar. “Bureaucrats and political honchos of all parties need to step out of their swanky air-conditioned offices and fix these environmental hazards on a priority. This is a ticking time bomb and the state and Central governments have to be made accountable for this mess. Over the years, the state government has turned a blind eye towards this health hazard in the holy city of Amritsar,” said Kohli.

Yogesh Kamra, secretary, Amritsar Vikas Manch, said, “This has to stop immediately. As the city’s urban area has expanded beyond the city bypass, people residing in areas of up to 3 to 5 km of this drain are exposed to lethal fumes emanating from it 24X7 resulting in breathing disorders, allergies, skin infections and vision problem.”

“The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had passed strict orders to plug the sources, which relased untreated sewage and industrial effluents into this drain. The order also specifically directed the Municipal Corporation to plug all sewerage points and asked the Punjab Pollution Control Board to adhere to its order, especially for real-time data monitoring of effluent treatment plants (ETPs) of all industries on their web server. However, nothing has been done to comply with the NGT order,” Kamra claimed.

Principal Kulwant Singh Ankhi, an educationist and patron of the AVM, compared the effect of this drain to the after-effects of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki bombings of Japan. “As per research and numerous studies done by Guru Nanak Dev University, it clearly indicates an alteration in the DNA of newborn children,” he said. Their NGO had been highlighting this issue on various occasions by regularly visiting various pollution source points alongside the drain, he added. Twice this issue was raised in the house of Parliament for prompt intervention, he said.

Member of Parliament Gurjeet Singh Aujla also met Minister of Housing and Urban Development Hardeep Puri last year to propose a viable solution to this polluted drain. A district-level task force was also constituted under the Deputy Commissioner, however, with the change of government, the core issue to cleanse the drain has taken a backseat again.

#Environment #gurjeet aujla #NGT #Pollution

Tribune Shorts


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