Environmental activists hold protest outside Ludhiana Mayor's house : The Tribune India

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Environmental activists hold protest outside Ludhiana Mayor's house

Charge MC, PPCB with manipulating data in District Environment Plan

Environmental activists hold protest outside Ludhiana Mayor's house

Activists hold a protest outside the residence of Mayor Balkar Singh Sandhu in Ludhiana on Sunday. Photo: Ashwani Dhiman



Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 27

Activists of the Public Action Committee (PAC), along with functionaries of the Council of Engineers (CoE), today held a protest outside the resident of Mayor Balkar Singh Sandhu in the Maharishi Valmiki Nagar colony here to express their resentment against officials concerned of the Municipal Corporation (MC) and Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) for allegedly manipulating facts and figures and providing incorrect data in the District Environment Plan (DEP).

In a complaint later submitted to the Punjab Chief Minister and Chief Secretary, the PAC and CoE alleged that by this act, the MC and PPCB had caused loss of public money by procurement of substandard machinery and by permitting contractors to lay substandard roads in the city during last six months. The protesters called for a thorough investigation, audit of substandard machinery and equipment purchased by the MC and failure of the PPCB to take effective steps to curb increasing pollution.

Activists of the PAC and CoE pointed out in the complaint that the District Environment Plan, prepared jointly by the MC and PPCB and submitted to the National Green Tribunal, regarding works completed with regard to issues like solid waste management, construction and demolition waste contained incorrect and misleading facts and figures.

They asserted that the claims made in the DEP about segregation of 50 per cent domestic waste, twice a day manual sweeping of public areas and markets, mechanical road sweeping, marginal gap in collection and disposal of garbage, having adequate fleet for transportation of segregated waste, removal of garbage vulnerable points (GVPs) and their conversion into greenbelts and many other facts and figures are incorrect and distorted.

Similarly, there are no CCTV cameras installed at dumping sites, static compactors procured and installed by the MC for easy disposal of garbage at secondary dumping sites are sub-standard and most of these are lying non-functional.

Like the MC, the PPCB has also faltered in its performance and the ground reality is contrary to claims made in the DEP. “The PPCB has installed only one Air Quality Monitoring Station (AQMS), that too on PAU campus, while the worst polluted sites like Industrial Focal Point and Industrial Areas have been ignored. Similarly, claim made about floodplain zoning carried out by the Drainage Department (Department of Irrigation) is also a falsehood,” said the complaint.

The protesting activists have called upon the government to order a thorough investigation into the role of the MC and PPCB officials in framing incorrect DEP and projecting incorrect data, wastage of public money by procurement of substandard machinery and equipment as well as by laying poor quality roads in the city.

Prominent among those present during the protest were CoE president Kapil Arora, PAC members Kuldeep Singh Khaira, Jaskirat Singh, Vikas Arora, Abhishek Tiwari, Ravinder Singh, Col (retd) CM Lakhanpal and Mohit Saggar.

#Environment #Pollution #PPCB


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