Ludhiana, November 20
The reckless and unauthorised dumping of solid waste persists as a major concern in the highly polluted Buddha Nullah and other open drains across the city. Each year, a substantial amount of solid waste accumulates in different drains of the city.
In an effort to prevent solid waste dumping in the Buddha Nullah, a smart city mission project involving the installation of chain link fencing along a 14 km stretch of Buddha Nullah under the jurisdiction of the municipal corporation (MC) was launched in November 2020. The estimated cost of this project was Rs 13.39 crore. However, the project, originally scheduled for completion by December 2021, encountered delays and was subsequently stopped with work pending at different locations. It is still uncertain whether the remaining works under the project will be completed or not in the future.
Notably, MC had also devised a plan to install around 224 gates along the nullah to facilitate future cleaning and ongoing project work was stalled last year. Currently, chain link fencing remains uninstalled at various locations, undermining the intended purpose of installing these fences.
During the recent rainy season, erosion along the banks of Buddha Nullah led to the collapse of several fence units into the nullah, particularly near the New Kundanpuri area. Additionally, there is a looming risk of more fence units falling into the nullah at various locations due to the lack of attention from the MC. A tilted fencing portion near New Deep Nagar is about to fall into the nullah.
Environmental activist Col CM Lakhanpal (retired) said officials had previously asserted that approximately 75 per cent of the chain-link fencing project had been completed. He stressed the importance for the civic body to guarantee the proper completion of the remaining work and rectify the shortcomings in the project that were encountered during the previous phase. Failure to complete the remaining work would render the entire project purposeless, he said.
Col Lakhanpal also recommended that the municipal corporation should install CCTVs and deploy staff to monitor and deter individuals who illegally dump waste into the Buddha Nullah. Additionally, he suggested placing dustbins near the nullah to facilitate the collection of solid waste and prevent people from disposing of waste in the nullah.
Additionally, it should be noted that waste is being dumped in several other drains in the vicinity of Bhadaur House, Damoria Bridge, Shingar Cinema Road and Barewal Drain near Haibowal Dairy Complex within the city. A resident Gaganpreet Singh emphasised the necessity for authorities to implement effective measures to curb the dumping of any form of waste into water bodies.
An MC official said that the recent meeting of a Vidhan Sabha Committee concluded with a decision to stop the remaining chain link fencing project work along the Buddha Nullah, discontinuing any further progress. There was still pending work along a 4 km stretch adjacent to the Buddha Nullah but it will not be carried out now as per the decision, he said.
Chairman of the Vidhan Sabha Committee, Daljeet Singh Grewal, the MLA for Ludhiana East, said that there were flaws in the chain link fencing project and it has been stopped as of now. The existing fencing was installed in an improper manner and no provision was left for cleaning the nullah at various locations, he added.
MC commissioner, Sandeep Rishi said that he would look into the matter.
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