Open House: What should be done to ensure that Buddha Nullah is clean, expedite ongoing work? : The Tribune India

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Open House: What should be done to ensure that Buddha Nullah is clean, expedite ongoing work?

Impose fine on violators disposing garbage, utilise funds efficiently

Open House: What should be done to ensure that Buddha Nullah is clean, expedite ongoing work?

The Rs 840-crore Buddha Nullah project to transform the water body into the Buddha Dariya has missed another deadline. ASHWANI DHIMAN



Map out project’s dependency

The news that the Buddha Nullah rejuvenation project is nearing completion is like a firefly down a cave, igniting the eyes of Ludhiana residents who had previously lost hope. The rejuvenation project for the 47.55-kilometer-long Buddha Nullah, a seasonal tributary of the Sutlej River, may have missed deadlines on numerous occasions, but once completed, it will provide clean water to people around the city, which can then be used for irrigation. Many people may be surprised to learn that Buddha Nullah was once a freshwater channel, prior to 1964. However, as the city developed into an industrial hub, the high-toxicity water discharged into the Nullah from industries transformed this freshwater stream into a sewer, causing public nuisance and posing a serious health risk. It is no secret that this mega city previously lacked a sewage treatment plant capable of handling hundreds of tonnes of untreated domestic and industrial toxic waste that was dumped into the Sutlej via Buddha Nullah. In an unforeseeable act, this water was used to grow food crops and vegetables, and became a known carrier of diseases. Given the criticality of the Buddha Nullah project, the government must meet the deadline by mapping out the project’s dependency.

Novin Christopher


Project in completion stage

We are undertaking the rejuvenation of the highly-polluted Buddha Nullah, a seasonal tributary of Sutlej flowing in Ludhiana, at the cost of Rs 840-crore and the project is in its advanced stage of completion. This will turn the Buddha Nullah into the Buddha River." — SANDEEP RISHI, MC COMMISSIONER

Transformation of nullah to river

To expedite the ongoing work and ensure the transformation of Buddha Nullah into a clean river, several measures can be taken. Additional funds should be allocated, if necessary, to speed up the project and address any unforeseen challenges. Strict monitoring mechanisms must be implemented to ensure that the allocated funds are utilised efficiently and effectively. Bureaucratic hurdles or delays that may be hindering the progress of the project need to be identified and eliminated. collaboration among government agencies, local communities, environmental organisations, and other stakeholders should be fostered to pool resources and expertise. Educate the public about the importance of preserving water bodies and encourage community participation in cleanup efforts. Implementation of eco-friendly technologies and sustainable practices to prevent further pollution and ensure long-term health of the river. Those responsible for any delays or setbacks in the project’s timeline should be held accountable. By implementing these strategies, authorities can expedite the ongoing work and ensure the successful transformation of Buddha Nullah into a clean and vibrant river.

Harman Gaba


Utilise allocated funds efficiently

To expedite the transformation of the highly polluted Buddha Nullah into a clean river, several measures should be implemented. Establish a robust monitoring system to ensure that the allocated funds are utilised efficiently and effectively. Regular inspections and audits should be conducted to track progress and hold responsible parties accountable for any delays. Allocate additional financial resources and manpower to accelerate the pace of work. This could involve seeking support from both governmental and non-governmental sources to supplement the existing budget and manpower. Foster community participation by involving local residents, businesses, and stakeholders in cleanup efforts. Conduct awareness campaigns to educate the public about the importance of preserving water bodies and enlist their support in maintaining the cleanliness of the river. Implement advanced technologies for wastewater treatment and pollution control along the entire stretch of the river. This could include setting up sewage treatment plants, installing filtration systems, and implementing eco-friendly practices to mitigate pollution sources. Foster collaboration among government agencies, environmental organisations, and experts to streamline decision-making processes and facilitate timely execution of the project. Clear communication channels and coordinated efforts are essential for overcoming bureaucratic hurdles and ensuring smooth progress. By implementing these strategies, we can expedite the ongoing work and ensure that the Buddha Nullah is transformed into a clean and rejuvenated river, benefiting both the environment and the communities that depend on it.

Ritik Kumar


Involve NGOs in cleanliness process

My father used to tell us stories about the Buddha River, which turned into Buddha Nullah. He, along with his friends, used to bathe in the river and that fishes used to live in it. It is a big shame for the people of Ludhiana that we polluted this pure river belt. It isn’t only the government’s job to clean the river, and people of the vicinity should also take a part in this project. To begin with, the government must restrict individuals, companies and livestock owners from further polluting the stream. It has been noticed that many individuals throw garbage into the river and many factory owners also dispose various chemicals into the belt. There must be strict penalties against violators. Government must involve NGOs and public in the cleanliness process. This would save resources and speed up the pace of the project. Water treatment plants must be supervised to ensure its proper working. The government should spread awareness among people about the river’s cleanliness by conducting seminars in schools and colleges.

Mahir Gaba


Regular monitoring mechanisms

As the long-awaited transformation of the highly-polluted Buddha Nullah into the rejuvenated Buddha River faces yet another delay with an investment of Rs 840 crore at stake, urgent steps must be taken to expedite the ongoing project and ensure the revitalisation of this water body. Firstly, enhanced coordination among government agencies, local authorities, and environmental experts is paramount to streamline project implementation and address bottlenecks effectively. Clear delineation of responsibilities and regular monitoring mechanisms can help ensure accountability and prompt resolution of challenges encountered during the execution phase. Moreover, increased public awareness and community engagement initiatives are essential to garner widespread support and participation in the restoration efforts. Encouraging local communities to actively contribute to cleanliness drives, waste management initiatives, and sustainable practices can foster a sense of ownership and collective responsibility towards preserving the sanctity of the Buddha River. Furthermore, leveraging technology and innovation in wastewater treatment and pollution control measures can significantly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the rehabilitation process. It will also significantly contribute in realising Ludhiana’s vision as a ‘Dream Smart City,’ fostering sustainable development and enhancing the quality of life for its residents.

Shruti Saggar


Strict action against violators needed

The ‘Buddha Dariya’ was once known for its clean water, but lately people have started calling it the ‘Buddha Nullah’ because the untreated effluents, sewage, garbage and dirty waste were being dumped in this Sutlej tributary, making it polluted. With the Rs 840-crore rejuvenation project of the Ludhiana MC entering the advanced stage of completion, the much-polluted water body, running almost parallel to Sutlej through most of Ludhiana district, would soon shed the infamous tag of “Nullah”. The authorities must ensure the completion of the project in the stipulated time frame and for this, official machinery must be proactive and an eminent scientist should be appointed to lead the project. Only treated domestic wastewater or fresh or stormwater may flow into this tributary. The government claims that the two new STPs constructed under this project will also provide relief from the problem of choked sewers to the residents of the city. As responsible citizens, we should reduce the use of detergents and other chemicals in our daily chores. The throwing of garbage into the water body should be strictly banned and illegal encroachments should also not be allowed to come up along both sides of the rivulet. The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) should take strict action against the industrial units discharging their untreated effluents into the water body.

RS Sembhi


Restore past glory

Ludhiana city has faced various problems, whether it is pollution, traffic, adulteration, encroachment, water and sanitation, but the biggest threat has been the polluted Buddha Nullah. Once upon a time it was a river with clean and clear water, which had now turned into stinky and dirty. Its foul smell also poses a problem for the local people. Various efforts have been made to get it clean even by releasing fresh water from the Sutlej into it, but all are in vain. The local and the state government can take measures to clean it. The first step is plugging all those channels which are polluting it, mainly the dyeing factories. Those who are releasing acid water and other polluted effluents must be punished and their factories should be locked down. Some stretch should be allocated to one organisation or industrialist to get it clean. Each and every citizen of the city should pledge not to throw any waste into it, only then it can be cleaned and its past glory may be restored.

Dr Mohd Saleem Farooqui


Impose heavy fine

Many steps have been taken to clean the Buddha Nullah previously and various grants have been received to clean it. Teams from the Centre have visited and tried their best but the problem persists. Water from the Sutlej has been released in it, but it is still dirty and stinky. If the dyeing factories stop releasing water into the nullah, then the problem may be eradicated. A fence must be erected on both sides and a heavy fine should be imposed on those throwing waste in it. An official should periodically visit to inspect the progress of the work. Help from some social organisation must be taken. Each citizen must come forward to assist the local government. Plants must be grown on both sides of the Buddha Nullah.

Farzana Khan


Plant more trees

There have been several attempts and last dates fixed to complete the work on ‘Budha Nullah’ to purify the water and every time the fixed dead date has been postponed. Postponing the dates does not speak well of the contractor and the municipal corporation, who are responsible for this assignment. The contractor must be kept under proper watch and another postponement of the date to complete the work should not be allowed. The date fixed now must be adhered to strictly. The bunds of the nullah must be redone to reshape the boundary lines. The people living around must be warned against throwing household waste material in the nullah and the defaulters must be punished with a fine. With the help of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), more trees must be planted around to make it environmentally safe for the residents living and the passersby. Ludhiana, being a smart city must finish this assignment sooner than later.

Gautam Dev


Residents should take small steps

In order to ensure that the water body becomes clean, small steps need to be taken by the local people and the industries to speed the process. They should not throw their waste directly into the water body and the authorities should also consider it as an important step that needs to be given priority over the others.

Anshika Gupta


Multi-pronged strategy required

Once again the Buddha Nullah development plan missed its completion deadline. A seasonal tributary of the Sutlej, it is continuously being polluted by wastes produced by people and industries. Waste from dairies is also a major contributing factor for water pollution, and encroachments on the banks of the Nullah causes a hindrance in its development. A multi-pronged strategy is needed to complete this project. Stakeholders and government authorities should come forward collectively and honestly to pursue this project. A whopping amount of Rs 840 crore has already been sanctioned by the government, but the project still remains incomplete. The contractor of project should be strictly ordered to complete the project. Heavy penalties should be imposed on not meeting the deadline, provisions of black listing should be made, dairy owners should not flow animal wastes in the Buddha Nullah, industrial units should release only treated water, residents should not encroach banks of the nullah, fruit trees should be planted on the banks, municipal authorities should collect garbage daily from doorstep of the residents, people should segregate wastes in wet and dry categories, awareness programmes should be started. All these measures have the potential to achieve the desired goal of a clean water body.

Sukhdev Sharma


Enforce garbage control measures

Streamlining the execution of the Buddha Nullah rejuvenation project is essential for its timely completion. Close collaboration and coordination among stakeholders, including the Municipal Corporation, Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Punjab Pollution Control Board, and Punjab State Power Corporation Limited, is crucial. Accelerating the remaining construction, particularly the intermediate pumping stations, is also essential. Regular progress monitoring and swift resolution of bottlenecks will ensure timely completion. Additionally, addressing teething problems and enforcing strict garbage control measures will expedite the transformation of the highly polluted Buddha Nullah into a cleaner river by the new deadline of March 31.

Tamanpreet Kaur Khangura


Put pressure on higher authorities

The Buddha Nullah tributary has caused a lot of suffering to the local people. When the project was commenced, it sent a ray of hope among the natives that they could soon get rid of the problem but all their hopes were dashed as the project has missed another deadline. It’s high time that the civic authorities should bring people under one umbrella and put pressure on the higher authorities to give approval to the project of the water body.

Kamaldeep Kaur


Forbid dumping of plastic into nullah

Mr Balkar Singh conducted the meeting regarding the Buddha Nullah project. The government should accelerate the project work by ensuring the officials and industrialists are involved. Dyeing industries should take steps to resolve the problems of pollution in the Buddha river. Equipment should be established to treat the waste. Action should be taken against units from where the untreated waste are trashed in the sewer lines. The public can play an integral role in cleaning the river and the government should forbid the dumping of plastic bags and other waste into the river.

Simmy Kaur


Fix a deadline

The wait for the highly-polluted Buddha Nullah, a seasonal tributary of the Sutlej flowing through Ludhiana, to be transformed into Buddha River continues as the Rs 840-crore project has missed another deadline. The Ludhiana administration should take necessary steps immediately. Expert help should be taken to tackle this situation and the deadline should be fixed for the project, which is not postponed.

Adish Sood


QUESTION

Majority of the roads, both inner and outer, in the city continue to be in bad shape despite the Municipal Corporation spending a whopping Rs 292 crore on the construction and repair of road infrastructure between 2021-22 and 2023-24. What needs to be done to improve the condition of roads?

Suggestions in not more than 200 words can be sent to [email protected] by Thursday (February 29)

#Buddha Nullah Ludhiana


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