Water unfit, Himachal Pradesh panchayats blame Punjab-based chemical plant

NGT forms panel, seeks fact-finding report

Water unfit, Himachal Pradesh panchayats blame Punjab-based chemical plant

Tribune News Service

Lalit Mohan

Dharamsala, May 26

Himachal village panchayats have filed a complaint with the National Green Tribunal (NGT), alleging the groundwater in their area has turned polluted due to effluents discharged by a Punjab-based chemical plant.

Site visit on May 31

  • Villages bordering Nangal allege PACL’s chemical plant polluted groundwater in their area
  • They claim their fields have turned arid and they can’t grow crops
  • NGT has formed a panel and sought fact-finding report, first meeting on May 31

The plant, which is located in Nangal, belongs to Punjab Alkalies and Chemicals Ltd (PACL). Residents of Sanoli, Mazara, Binewal and Malookpur villages alleged water from all underground sources had been rendered unfit for drinking and irrigation purposes.

A case alleging trans-boundary pollution was filed with the NGT. The latter constituted a committee consisting of officials of the Central Pollution Control Board, Central Ground Water Board, Punjab Pollution Control Board and deputy commissioners of Ropar and Una. The panel will hear out the petitioners, visit the site and submit a fact-finding report to the NGT.

Una DC Raghav Sharma said the panel’s first meeting would be held in Nangal on May 31. “A dossier of grievances has been prepared. Samples from tubewells and borewells in the area would be taken. The HP State Pollution Control Board (HPSPCB) has been tasked with obtaining report of the suitability of water for drinking and irrigation purposes, including salinity, alkalinity, hardness, toxicology and organic compound residue,” he said.

Villagers alleged in many areas their fields had turned arid and they were not able to grow crops. Former state BJP chief Satpal Satti said legal recourse would be taken against the chemical unit.

#Environment #NGT #Pollution

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