Only 17 years of groundwater left in Punjab, says NGT panel

Term it a major challenge to humanity in coming decades; lays stress on steps needed for waste management

Only 17 years of groundwater left in Punjab, says NGT panel

A meeting of the NGT Monitoring Committee in progress in Kapurthala on Friday. Tribune photo

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 20

The monitoring committee of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) comprising Chairman Justice Jasbir Singh (retd), former Chief Secretary SC Aggarwal, environmentalist Balbir Singh Seechewal and Babbu Ram (both members) reviewed the district environment plan at the DAC here on Friday.

Addressing the officials, Justice Jasbir Singh asked them to take a serious note of climate change and depleting groundwater, terming it a major challenge to humanity in the coming decades.

Laying stress on increasing the efforts to save groundwater in the state, he said as per reports of experts, the state is left with groundwater for 17 years and the state is passing through an alarming stage.

Stressing on adopting steps needed for segregation of waste and management, the monitoring committee asked the Commissioners of the Kapurthala and Phagwara municipal corporations to ensure the collection of waste material from houses adopting the segregation and waste management system.

The monitoring committee also ordered the Commissioners of the Phagwara and Kapurthala MCs and EOs of municipal councils to ensure 100 per cent segregation of waste material by December 2022. Besides, the committee also asked the officials of the Rural Development and Panchayat Department to prepare and submit a village-level waste management plan for all (546) villages of the district. It will include segregation and collection of waste material from every household and establishment of compost pits according to the size of population of every village.

The committee also asked the officials to set up more compost pits in the district. It also reviewed the management of bio-medical waste and controlling the noise pollution. The committee granted a three-month period to the Police Department to purchase the noise mapping meters and provide the same to each police station of the district.

The committee also directed the Kapurthala MC and the District Development and Panchayat Officer, and the XEN, Panchayati Raj, to plug the outlets carrying untreated domestic effluent of Kapurthala city and villages into the Holy Bein.

The committee also ordered to install a GPS tracker on all vehicles carrying waste and ensure a complete ban on use of single-use plastic in a true spirit.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Vishesh Sarangal assured the monitoring committee that the district administration would take all possible steps to check fast depleting underground water, curb pollution and run an awareness campaign in educational institutions for the same.

It may be mentioned here that the NGT has constituted the monitoring committee under the chairmanship of Justice Jasbir Singh.

Prominent among those present on the occasion were ADC G Ajay Arora, Phagwara ADC Daljeet Kaur, ADC (Urban Development) Anupam Kler, SP Jasbir Singh, Assistant Commissioner Ranjit Singh and top officials from all departments.

#balbir singh seechewal #Environment #groundwater #NGT

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