Body to approach High Court over canal water

FARIDKOT: Two month after a large quantity of fish had died in Rajasthan Feeder Canal and Sirhind Feeder Canal in the Faridkot area due to a high-toxic level in water, apprehensions are being raised about its ill-effects on humans.

editorial@tribune.com

Balwant Garg

Tribune News Service

Faridkot, June 13

Two month after a large quantity of fish had died in Rajasthan Feeder Canal and Sirhind Feeder Canal in the Faridkot area due to a high-toxic level in water, apprehensions are being raised about its ill-effects on humans.

Relying on a study conducted by an NGO in Rajasthan which confirms that how water reaching many districts of Rajasthan from Punjab is posing a threat to people, Bhai Kanahiya Cancer Roko Society, a voluntary organisation, has decided to move the High Court.

“Though we have already given many memorandum to the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) for some remedial steps to check the dumping of highly toxic industrial effluents in the Satluj river in Ludhiana before filing a writ petition in the High Court. Now, we are submitting another memorandum to the Chairman of the PPCB on Friday,” said Gurpreet Singh Chandbaja, president of Bhai Kanahiya Cancer Roko Society.

‘Water and Health: A study of Indira Gandhi Nahar Pariyojna’ in Rajasthan has revealed that water in the Gung and Indira Gandhi canals, two distributaries of the Satluj, flowing to Rajasthan after traversing through Ferozepur, Faridkot and Muktsar districts, is not fit for human consumption.

It also revealed that the supply of water from these canals is spreading water-borne diseases in the desert state. The study was conducted by Prof MS Rathore at the Institute of Development Studies, Jaipur, for Health, Environment and Development Consortium, NGO, some time back. The study found that 70.6 per cent of the surveyed people were afflicted with diseases due to bacterial and heavy metal content in the water of the canals.

“Instances of aquatic mortality and suffering health of people relying on the river water in Southern West Malwa region of Punjab and Northern belt of Rajasthan, consisting Faridkot, Ferozepur, Muktsar, Ganganagar, Bikaner, Hanumangarh and Jodhpur districts, are in abundance, but people are habitual to live with these periodic aquatic mortalities,” said Chandbaja.

“A study conducted to check the level of pollution revealed that the level of oxygen in water of the Gung and Rajasthan Feeder canals is almost nil since 1996. Like a fish, a common man dies or survives, people at the helm of affairs are least bothered,” said Umendra Dutt, executive director, Kheti Virasat Mission.

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