Book PPCB Chief Engineer, factories polluting Buddha Nullah: Ludhiana residents : The Tribune India

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Book PPCB Chief Engineer, factories polluting Buddha Nullah: Ludhiana residents

Book PPCB Chief Engineer, factories polluting Buddha Nullah: Ludhiana residents

The PAC members who filed a complaint with the police demanding registration of an FIR against the PPCB Chief Engineer and industries polluting the Buddha Nullah in Ludhiana. Tribune photo



Tribune News Service

Harshraj Singh

Ludhiana, April 18

Intensifying their campaign to protect water bodies from pollution, now 10 residents have asked the Ludhiana police to register an FIR against the Chief Engineer and officials concerned of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) for allegedly disobeying the law by not taking action against those dyeing and electroplating industries that are dumping untreated waste into the Buddha Nullah without any fear of law.

The complainants, who are members of a Public Action Committee (PAC), on Monday submitted their complaint to the SHO at the Division Number 7 police station against PPCB Chief Engineer Gulshan Rai and other officials concerned and unidentified dyeing and electroplating units that are polluting the Buddha Nullah.

They demanded that an FIR under Sections 166 (public servants disobeying law), 217 (public servant disobeying direction of law with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture), 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 120 B (Punishment of criminal conspiracy) of the IPC must be registered against PPCB officials and factories responsible for polluting the drain.

The complainants, including Col CM Lakhanpal (retd), Dr Amandeep Singh Bains, Kapil Dev, Jaskirat Singh and Kuldeep Singh Khaira, have alleged that numbers of dyeing units and electroplating factories with the connivance of PPCB officials are dumping untreated toxic chemical waste into the Buddha Dariya, which is now known as highly polluted Buddha Nullah.

Kuldeep Singh Khaira alleged that PPCB officials, who are responsible for controlling pollution levels, failed to perform their duty by acting against such erring factories that are openly dumping untreated toxic waste into the Buddha Nullah that merges with the Sutlej near Walipur village. He said dumping untreated waste into the river or groundwater is illegal and a cognisable offence.

Khaira said as per the National Green Tribunal guidelines, the dyeing factories are supposed to instal effluent treatment plants and ensure their proper functioning but numerous dyeing factories openly violate the rules. Besides, many electroplating units, instead of following the rules, are dumping their toxic chemical waste into the Buddha Nullah, he alleged.

Another complainant, Jaskirat Singh, who is a chemical engineer, said, “Toxic waste in the Buddha Nullah is polluting the groundwater and soil too in Ludhiana. The groundwater in the areas along the Buddha Nullah is full of toxic and heavy metals and it is also being used for growing vegetables and other crops in the fields around the drain. The water of the Sutlej that is being polluted by toxic waste in the Buddha Nullah is further supplied through canals and government waterworks in the areas of south Punjab and Rajasthan for drinking purposes. Thus, the polluted water is causing serious diseases among the people and animals in such areas. Now, we demand an FIR be registered against the PPCB officials and erring factories for polluting the water bodies.”

When contacted, Chief Engineer of the PPCB Gulshan Rai said the PPCB is taking action after identifying the industries that are violating the rules. He said four such industries have been identified.

Station House Officer Gurshinder Kaur said they will first make it clear by getting information from the Chief Engineer concerned whether the PPCB has taken any action against those factories which are polluting the drain, and then further action would be initiated.

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