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Amritsar

Posted at: Jun 14, 2018, 1:00 AM; last updated: Jun 14, 2018, 1:00 AM (IST)

Hudiara effluents to be diverted through sewerage

Pungent odour emanates throughout the year from it; cleaning appears to be a gigantic task
Hudiara effluents to be diverted through sewerage
Diversion of effluents is expected to take place within a month. Photo: Sunil Kumar

Neeraj Bagga

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 13

After the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) backed out of the ambitious project of cleaning the Hudiara drain, also known as Tung Dhab drain, due to high toxic elements, the plight of the people residing in the colonies alongside the drain seems to have caught the government’s attention amid its ongoing ‘Tandrust Punjab’ mission. The government has planned to divert the discharge of the drain to a newly-laid sewerage within a month.

Balwinder Singh, a resident of Anmol Enclave near the nullah (drain), said, “Extremely polluted effluents of the drain release pungent odour throughout the year. The problem gets intensified in summers. Its effects are so strong that it upsets all household electronic gadgets, like fridge, air conditioners (ACs) and television as these need frequent services. My AC, which was purchased last year, had to be repaired for Rs 8,700 this summer.”

Parminder Singh of Amardas Colony said the odour emanating from the nullah made it impossible to even breathe. For years, we have been hearing government announcements that the problem would be fixed. “Promise of operating two sewerage treatment plants (STP) at Khapar Kheri and Baserke Bhani villages to clean effluents of the nullah have so far been a far-fetched dream,” he said.

Under a Union Government scheme funded by the JICA, these STPs are supposed to de-toxify and clean the nullah. Residents say there have been no punitive action against the erring industrialists while expectation of green and clean environment along the four-lane road have disappeared after the NEERI backed out of the proposed project.

The Nagpur-based research institute, a reputed organisation which focuses on research on water supply and sewage disposal, shelved its plan of cleaning the Tung Dhab drain and converting its surroundings into a green space after its engineers found the drain carrying alarmingly-high effluent level.

Environment Minister OP Soni said the matter of the nullah releasing extremely pungent odour and toxins in the environment was taken up with Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh. He assured that the discharge of drain would be diverted to the newly-laid sewerage in the next one month. He stated that the STPs would start functioning soon.

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