Ludhiana, November 28
After hearing an applicant in the case related to the dumping of waste into Sidhwan Canal, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has constituted a joint committee comprising Irrigation Department, Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), District Magistrate, Ludhiana, and Executive Engineer, Canal Officer (Sidhwan Canal Division), to submit a factual report within two months.
The NGT ordered that the report should highlight the factual status of waste lying along the banks of the canal in question, the extent of encroachments and areas demarcated on both sides of the canal as no activity zone and the action taken by the authorities concerned, if any. The state PCB will be the nodal agency for coordination and compliance.
During the hearing via videoconferencing held on November 25, one of the four applicants, Kapil Dev Arora, appeared in person and he stated that the Sidhwan Canal passing through Ludhiana is highly polluted because of the dumping of plastic bags, polyester clothe waste, other non-biodegradable material, etc. Arora said there were encroachments also on Canal sides but neither the Irrigation Department of Punjab nor other responsible authorities have taken any action in this regard.
In the order, the NGT Bench said: “In our view, a substantial question of environment arising out of the implementation of enactments specified in Schedule I under the NGT Act, 2010, has arisen but before taking further action, we find it appropriate to obtain a factual report for which a joint committee comprising
Irrigation Department, Punjab, Punjab state PCB, District Magistrate, Ludhiana and Executive Engineer, Canal Officer, Sidhwan Canal Division, Sirhind Canal Complex, Urban Estate, Dugri, Ludhiana is constituted who would submit factual report within two months.”
Meanwhile, another applicant, Kuldeep Singh Khaira, said after filing a petition with the NGT, the district administration, Municipal Corporation as well as other authorities concerned had rushed to the Sidhwan Canal for remedial measures.
“Despite raising the issue of encroachment along the canal and continuous dumping of garbage by the civic body itself on the Sidhwan Canal bank, the civic body took no action in this regard. The Irrigation Department and the PPCB are silent on such violations. Hence, it is clear that the visit to the Sidhwan Canal by the authorities was merely an eyewash,” he said.
State pollution control board to be nodal agency
The NGT ordered that the report should highlight the factual status of waste lying along the banks of the canal in question, the extent of encroachments and areas demarcated on both sides of the canal as no activity zone and the action taken by the authorities concerned. The state pollution control board will be the nodal agency for coordination and compliance.
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