CPCC: No faecal matter, sewage entering N-Choe : The Tribune India

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CPCC: No faecal matter, sewage entering N-Choe

Files objection with NGT against CPCB report

CPCC: No faecal matter, sewage entering N-Choe

File photo

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18

The Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC) has filed an objection with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against a report of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on the N-Choe, which stated that untreated sewage was being discharged into it.

The CPCC clarified that the N-Choe is a natural formation which acts as a rain water drainage channel originating near the Punjab Civil Secretariat in Sector 2 and running through the city before entering Mohali at Sector 53. The contention made by the CPCB in its report dated March 19 this year that the N-Choe was an interstate drain carrying sewage, storm water, etc, was incorrect and hereby denied, stated the committee.

To clarify the issue of high presence of coliform in the N-Choe, the CPCC submitted that the entire course of the choe within the UT limits was surrounded by trees. It passes through various parks such as Bougainvillea Garden, Leisure Valley, etc, all the way to Sector 53, where it exits Chandigarh. The trees lining the N-Choe are home to multiple species of squirrels, mongoose, monkeys, rats, dogs, cats, birds reptiles, butterflies, micro-organisms, insects, etc. These birds and animals are a part of the natural ecosystem of the area and their faecal matter fell directly into the N-Choe.

The committee claimed that no human waste or sewage was flowing into the N-Choe at any juncture in the city. It stated that during pre-monsoon and dry seasons, faecal matter of birds and animals got concentrated in the N-Choe as it did not have free flowing water. The water that enters the N-Choe is run-off from watering of parks, fresh water or tertiary treated water which enters the N-Choe in small quantities, leading to concentration of faecal matter.

With the onset of monsoon as more rainwater enters the N-Choe, the faecal coliform content starts decreasing due to dilution. The CPCC submitted that since bacteria entered the N-Choe through direct discharge of waste from free ranging mammals and birds from surface and storm water run-off, the naturally occurring faecal coliform content remained in the range of 10 to 103. Therefore, the higher faecal coliform levels depicted in the report of the CPCB was on account of natural causes, and not due to the any human factor or intervention, the panel claimed.

The CPCC submitted that since the N-Choe was a natural formation, which ran through the city, the norms laid down for STPs would not be applicable in the present case. “The N-Choe cannot be classified as a sewage drain as no water from the sewer lines or the STPs enters it,” the panel submitted.

The CPCB had observed that domestic, untreated sewage was being discharged into the N-Choe at different locations in Mohali district. In compliance to the directions of the NGT, the Regional Directorate (Chandigarh) of the CPCB had carried out a survey and monitoring of the N-Choe to assess the water quality of the drain from the point of origin to the point where it merges into Ghaggar river, on January 29 and 31 this year.

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#Environment #National Green Tribunal NGT #Pollution

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