Industry must stop releasing effluents in rivulet : The Tribune India

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Open House: how to clean Buddha Nullah

Industry must stop releasing effluents in rivulet

One cannot pass or walk on the banks of Buddha Nullah as it stinks. Many organisations and environmentalists like Seechewal have tried their best to plug sources, which pollute Buddha Nullah, but all has gone in vain. The World Bank sanctioned grant to clean the nullah, but nobody knows where it was used.

Industry must stop releasing effluents in rivulet

Waste dumped along the banks of the Buddha Nullah in Ludhiana has aggravated contamination in the rivulet. file photo

One cannot pass or walk on the banks of Buddha Nullah as it stinks. Many organisations and environmentalists like Seechewal have tried their best to plug sources, which pollute Buddha Nullah, but all has gone in vain. The World Bank sanctioned grant to clean the nullah, but nobody knows where it was used. The nullah has created health-related problems as it passes through the city. The administration has to plug all channels, which carry chemical waste of industrial units and polluted water of dying factories into the nullah. All units and other sources, which pollute the nullah, must be closed. The Municipal Corporation should construct shops on the stretch of Buddah Nullah, which passes through the city, and give these on rent. The MC can take help from big industrial houses to clean the nullah. Trees must be planted on banks of then nullah to reduce stink. All channels of Buddah Nullah, which pollute Sutlej river and adjoining agricultural land, must be plugged. Heavy fine should be imposed on industrial units, which pollute the nullah. Violators must be pushed behind bars. All city residents should lend support to clean the nullah so that the coming generations get better environment. Otherwise I may say that in the form of couplet  ‘Hazar saal mai tareekh sirf itna sa badli hai pehle daur pathar ka tha ab log hain pathar ke’

Dr Mohd Saleem

Sant Seechewal is needed 

Our most water bodies are contaminated. Even Hari ke Pattan is bearing the brunt of pollution. Governments are never sensitive to take on the task of keeping the environment clean. Billions have been spent on cleaning Ganga, but it is still polluted. The public has to rise to the occasion and take the responsibility on themselves. People living in villages next to Buddha Nullah should be assigned the job of cleaning it during the lean period of agriculture as they have wherewithal like tractors, trailers and farm equipment. They must be compensated by the government. That day is not far when we will have water pumps just like petrol pumps. We are too careless in looking after the environment.

Major Gurdeep S Samra (retd)

Impose Section 144 to prevent dumping of waste

Once precious asset of the city — Buddha Nullah — has become nuisance as untreated domestic and industrial waste is being openly thrown into it, which is posing serious health hazard to the public and also affecting people of nearby villages and far-reaching areas as its water enters various canals through Sutlej river. Due to carelessness of civic body officials and complete lawlessness on part of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), hundreds of tonnes of raw sewage from the city flows into the Sutlej and all over the state through irrigation canals. Despite directions of the High Court those defiling Buddha Nullah be penalised, officials concerned have neither started regular challaning drive nor taken steps to check the menace. Ludhianvis still have to realise toxins in excess of the maximum permissible limit (MPL) are being detected in ground and tap water samples. Section 144 should be imposed to prevent dumping of solid waste on banks and treated or untreated sewage into the nullah. Demarcation of the entire length of Nullah by removing encroachments is also necessary. Convert the whole Buddha Nullah into the green belt acting as a bio-fence to filter out chemicals. NGOs should be involved to protect the sanctity of the green belt. At last, the PPCB should strengthen its legislation to monitor the industry to ensure 100% compliance with the standards prescribed by the board.

Ravi Chander Garg 

A bane of the city  

Those were the days when Budha Nullah was called Buddha Dariya (river). It was not so dirty and filthy in those days as it is today. The highly-polluted nullah remains a major poll issue everytime. So far, those elected have failed to provide any relief to the affected residents. Since 1991, the Municipal House has been formed five times, but no concrete steps have been taken to stop Buddha Nullah from being polluted. Untreated effluents from industries are released into the nullah from different points in city. Villagers residing near the Budha Nullah continue to suffer. Successive governments in the state have failed to check pollution in the nullah. Four year on, the project “Abatement of pollution in Buddha Nullah” has failed to see the light of day. The nullah is polluting the ground water too. People are suffering from Hepatitis and cancer. The polluted water of other drains, including Ganda Nullah and Shivaji Nagar Nullah, also flows into the Buddha Nullah. Moreover, untreated waste from diary complexes on the Hambra road and the Tajpur road is released into the nullah. Elected representatives generally take care of the interest of industries, which pollute the Buddha Nullah. They seldom pay attention to people suffering due to highly polluted nullah. Illegal dying units must be shutdown. Sewerage treatment plants must be upgraded. Analysis report of water samples should be displayed on hoardings. The state government should declare an “Environmental emergency” until Ludhiana becomes pollution free.    

Kuldip Singh Kreer

Claims have never matched ground reality 

Since 1975, being a resident of the city, I have come across innumerable projects, studies, budgets, inaugurations, news headlines, election manifestos and tall claims of politicians, district administration, commissioners, erstwhile presidents and modern mayors proclaiming huge success in taming the quality of water, which flows in Buddha Nallah. These claims have never matched the ground realities. The government asserts to have spent more than Rs 5,000 crore to cleanse the water body, but in reality its health is deteriorating day by day. Contaminated water still flows into Buddha Nullah resulting in serious hazards for residents, especially in surrounding localities. Persons and institutions responsible for its present plight need to be sternly punished. Residents should not treat it as a dumping area. It is apt time to adopt “awaken vis a vis enforce” policy.  

Brish  Bhan  Ghaloti

Difficult task as quantity of waste released is huge 

Solid industrial waste and untreated sewage is dumped into Buddha Nullah every day. Cleaning and desilting the nullah is being carried out by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation. The large quantity of effluents has made it impossible to clean the water body. Microbes should be discharged into the nullah, which will eat waste components of effluents. The polluted water of the nullah should be passed through filters made of temporary barricades fortified with microbial consortia. Treated water can be used for gardening, toilet flushing and even for irrigation purposes. Besides, saplings must be planted along the drain. Common effluent treatment plants should be installed in dying industries as these units are the main polluter of the nullah. Penalty must be levied on erring industries. There should be check on factories releasing untreated waste into the nullah. It is moral responsibility of residents to keep the city clean and green.

Dr Jasdeep Kaur

So much hype, but no success

Due to chemical-laden water Buddha Nullah continues to poison its surroundings in Ludhiana. Every citizen is entitled to clean water, air and atmosphere. There has been so much talk about solving the issue over the years, but hardly any success has been achieved. All efforts must be made for checking contamination in the nullah. Only a sincere decision by the Municipal Corporation to make a fool-proof plan, earmark funds and continue to work on the project till the nullah is pollution free can help. The MC can seek financial support from the state as well as Centre governments. The main cause of toxic chemicals in the nullah is the local industry. Dumping of effluents must be stopped by using all, including legal, means. Defaulters must be punished with fine, including closure of the industrial unit concerned.  Similarly, the local public, including the sweeping staff of the MC, must be educated and prevented from using nullah as dumping ground. The government must ensure that water in the nullah continues to flow in canals across the state and does not stagnate on the city boundary. The MC must cement the nullah like the canal lining to ensure quick flow of polluted water.

Dr G Dev

Government has failed to provide succour

Buddha Nullah is one of the oldest rivulet in Ludhiana. There was a time when it was pollution free and pure water flowed in it. Now, it has become one of the most polluted water body. This condition of the nullah is due to industries, which release chemical and non- biodegradable waste in it. The water in the nullah has high quantity of toxins. The government started many projects to clean the nullah, but all failed. The stink around the nullah is unbearable. People residing near the nullah are suffering from many health problems. The water of the nullah merges with Sutlej and used by many people for crop irrigation, household works and even for drinking in some rural areas. The MC should take strict action against industries, which throw waste in the nullah and impose fine on those violating pollution norms. The people should be made aware that garbage in not to be thrown in the nullah.

Surekha Mahajan

Ruling dispensation must take proper measures

Buddha Nullah is seasonal water stream, which runs through the Malwa region of Punjab, after passing through highly-populated Ludhiana district. In 2008, Punjab Agricultural University conducted a study that revealed presence of high toxic and heavy metals in the food chain due to use of nullah water for irrigation. Villagers residing near Sutlej river are suffering from hepatitis and cancer. Their number is increasing with each passing day. The government has done nothing to check pollution in Buddha Nullah. The nullah goes on accumulating industry effluents and domestic waste, which flows into the Sutlej river. Biomedical waste and sewage have been released into nullah for the past many years.  The industry near the nullah must not throw any waste in the nullah. The government must keep a check on all industry in the town. Fine must be imposed on factories, which are caught releasing waste into the nullah.

Manpriya Kaur

Let’s convert nullah into young water body

Buddha Nullah has become breeding ground of many diseases. Its water has become so toxic that it cannot even sustain aquatic life. The foul smell emanating from the nullah burns nostrils of residents living nearby. The filth accumulated in the nullah is an eyesore for passersby. The nullah was not the same a few decades ago. Official apathy, continuous discharge of untreated effluents by the industry and dumping of household waste has turned a beautiful and potable water source into Buddha Nullah as it is infamously called in local parley. To clean it, discharge of effluents has to stop and the cleaning work has to speed up. It’s joint responsibility of residents, police and the Municipal Corporation to correct the wrong done by converting Buddha Nullah into young water body, which carries crystal-clear water and adds to the beauty of the city. It’ll be a valuable gift for the coming generations.

Deepak Nagpal

People should raise their voice

The Buddha Nullah is spread across 31 km. With its contaminated water, the nallah remains toxic rivulet of Ludhiana.Around three years ago the state government had planned to make the nullah contamination free. Many cleaning projects were introduce, but all in vain.Nothing has improved. People are suffering due to the polluted nullah. Cleaning of Buddha Nullah is neccessary ,but before that we should think about that how can we stop pollutants from mixing into is water. How can we prevent water from contamination. The MC should work on this.Despite spending crores on cleaning the nallah in the past, the civic body has failed to stop industries and others from releasing untreated waste into the rivulet. The MC should keep a check on the industry. Strict action should be taken who pollute the nullah. Residents should raise their voice to awaken the higher authorities so that serious  steps can be taken to solve this problem. Every single person’s little effort can improve the condition of the Buddha Nullah.

Kalpna Maurya

Penalise owners of offending units
Minna Zutshi

The Buddha Nullah, with its chemical-laden water, remains the toxic vein of Ludhiana. The only workable solution is penalising owners/proprietors of offending industries that discharge effluents into the nullah. 

Unless a message is sent across clear and loud that under no circumstances will owners of the polluting units be allowed to go scott-free, the nullah problem cannot be resolved. 

The second step is cleaning the nullah that once used to be a sparkling water body. The cleaning has to be systematic and efficient and on the basis of scientific principles, minus the hype that surrounds the Buddha Nullah cleaning. 


Compostable carry bags are a step towards the reduction of plastic waste. What measures can be initiated to aid the switchover from plastic carry bags to biodegradable compostable bags?  [email protected]

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