Monday, November 19, 2018
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Neck-deep in muck, rivers gasping for breath
The Sutlej polluted by the Buddha Nullah near Walipur Kalan in Ludhiana. Tribune Photo: Malkiat Singh

Neck-deep in muck, rivers gasping for breath

Rs 50-crore fine imposed by National Green Tribunal on state govt has turned spotlight on large-scale pollution in Sutlej and Beas19 Nov 2018 | 1:32 AM

LUDHIANA: Blackened water of the Sutlej river near Walipur Kalan village in Ludhiana district bears testimony to the havoc wreaked by the Buddha Nullah, once known as Buddha Dariya.

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Harshraj Singh

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18

Blackened water of the Sutlej river near Walipur Kalan village in Ludhiana district bears testimony to the havoc wreaked by the Buddha Nullah, once known as Buddha Dariya.

Over the decades, successive governments have failed to protect the Sutlej from the polluted nullah that has killed many species of fish and other aquatic life.

Dyeing units and other industries release untreated waste into the nullah. The Municipal Corporation, too, disposes of untreated sewer water into the nullah from different points in the city. The waste from dairy complexes located on the Hambran Road and the Tajpur Road is also dumped here.

The sewage treatment plants (STPs) under the MC at Bhattian, Jamalpur and Balloke are not adequate to treat the entire sewer water of the city. A plan to upgrade these STPs has been hanging fire for the past several years, while the project to set up a common effluent treatment plant for industries is incomplete. The effluent treatment plant project for dairy complexes has also not seen the light of day.

The residents of villages near the Sutlej, including Walipur Kalan, Ghumnewal, Talwandi Nau Abad and Gaunspur, have complained repeatedly that the nullah’s toxic water is polluting not only the river, but also the groundwater in these rural areas. Many hepatitis cases have been reported in these villages, the residents claim.

Following a complaint lodged with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against the Punjab Government, claiming that Sutlej’s polluted water was causing health problems for people in Rajasthan, officials had visited the nullah several times in 2014, but nothing was done on the ground to curb pollution. The state government had asked Engineers India Limited to prepare a report on measures to check pollution in the nullah, but the project never took off.

Col Jasjit Singh Gill (retd), a representative of the Buddha Dariya Action Front, said, “The MC itself is among the offenders. The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) and other authorities concerned are not serious about curbing pollution. The city also has no storm-water drainage system that can stop rainwater from flowing into the sewer system.”

Congress MLA from Ludhiana East constituency Sanjay Talwar says, “We have appealed to the erring industries to stop polluting the water channel, but to no avail. There is a need to take strict action.”

Mayor Balkar Singh Sandhu admits that untreated sewer water is released into the nullah from some points as the STPs are yet to be upgraded. “We are making efforts to check pollution in the nullah. We would also take action against polluting industries,” he said.

Despite repeated attempts, PPCB chief environmental engineer Pawan Garg could not be contacted.

4 staying for ‘kar sewa’ die in gurdwara building collapse

4 staying for ‘kar sewa’ die in gurdwara building collapse

19 Nov 2018 | 12:00 PM

ABOHAR: Four devotees staying in a Hanumangarh gurdwara for ‘kar sewa’ were killed and two others seriously injured as a part of the under-construction building collapsed this morning.

Grenade blast at Nirankari Bhavan kills 3

Grenade blast at Nirankari Bhavan kills 3

19 Nov 2018 | 10:44 AM

AMRITSAR: Three persons were killed and 22 injured in a grenade explosion inside Nirankari Bhavan at Adliwal village near Amritsar’s Rajasansi village on Sunday. DGP Suresh Arora called it “an act of terror”. He said a team of the National Investigation Agency would be reaching the city on Monday.

Molasses spill: Firm yet to pay Rs3.5-crore fine

19 Nov 2018 | 1:32 AM

PATIALA: In May, fish in large numbers were found dead in the Beas due to a molasses spill, following which Chadha Sugar Mill at Kiri Afghana (Gurdaspur district) was sealed and fined Rs 5 crore.

Effluents continue to wreak havoc, most STPs dysfunctional

Effluents continue to wreak havoc, most STPs dysfunctional

19 Nov 2018 | 1:32 AM

JALANDHAR: Despite efforts made by noted environmentalist Balbir Singh Seechewal to clean the holy Kali Bein at Sultanpur Lodhi, the state of Doaba rivulets has gone from bad to worse.

Municipal waste chokes drains in border districts

Municipal waste chokes drains in border districts

19 Nov 2018 | 1:32 AM

AMRITSAR: The National Green Tribunal’s (NGT’s) decision to impose Rs 50-crore fine on the Punjab Government for pollution in the Sutlej and Beas rivers due to uncontrolled industrial discharge has exposed the failure of the authorities concerned to tackle the problem.

Sikh-Nirankari conflict peaked with 1978 clash

Sikh-Nirankari conflict peaked with 1978 clash

19 Nov 2018 | 1:32 AM

CHANDIGARH: Early Christian missionaries in Punjab were fascinated by “street disturbances” in Rawalpindi, when some Hindus complained that an organised group had hurl abuse at the “cow” and rejected idol worship.

Patiala youth’s arrest had ‘averted’ similar attack; cops to probe his role

Patiala youth’s arrest had ‘averted’ similar attack; cops to probe his role

19 Nov 2018 | 1:32 AM

PATIALA: Local youth Shabnamdeep Singh, who was arrested by the Patiala police early this month, had been allegedly tasked by his handlers with throwing a grenade at a large gathering – akin to Sunday’s grenade attack in Amritsar.

Tewari: Punjab in ISI crosshair again

19 Nov 2018 | 1:32 AM

NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader and former Ludhiana MP Manish Tewari today urged the Centre and Punjab to work closely for the preservation of peace in the state, describing the blast as the Pakistan ISI’s attempt to reactivate the Khalistan file.

Malout trader, son among four held for extortion

19 Nov 2018 | 1:32 AM

MUKTSAR: With the arrest four persons, the Muktsar police today claimed to have busted a racket operating in the name of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), which issued extortion letters to businessmen.

Teachers intensify agitation in Malwa

Teachers intensify agitation in Malwa

19 Nov 2018 | 1:32 AM

BATHINDA: Members of the Sanjha Adhyapak Morcha and representatives from nine districts in the Malwa region along with six other union members blocked the Bathinda-Mansa highway, disrupting the vehicular traffic for hours.

PSEB, police seize pirated books

PSEB, police seize pirated books

19 Nov 2018 | 1:32 AM

JALANDHAR: Officials of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) and the police here on Sunday seized pirated textbooks of the board and the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) from a local book binding shop.

Education Dept takes over 559 schools

19 Nov 2018 | 1:32 AM

PATIALA: The Education Department has taken over 559 Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) schools to post teachers who have accepted the government’s offer of a regular job at a monthly salary of Rs 15,300.

Prez okays law to ban hookah bars

Prez okays law to ban hookah bars

19 Nov 2018 | 1:32 AM

NEW DELHI: Hookah bars have been permanently banned in Punjab as President Ram Nath Kovind has given assent to a Bill from the state to check use of tobacco.

SIT to question Sukhbir today

19 Nov 2018 | 2:28 AM

CHANDIGARH: The SIT probing the Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura police firing incidents will question SAD chief Sukhbir Badal in the conference room of the Punjab Police headquarters in Sector 9 here at 2.30 pm on Monday.

Stop meddling in Batala affairs, Sekhri tells Bajwa

19 Nov 2018 | 1:32 AM

BATALA: Former Congress MLA Ashwani Sekhri has asked Cabinet Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa to stop meddling in the affairs of the Batala Assembly seat and warned him that the “consequences will be bad if he (Bajwa) does not stay away.

Youth Cong’s anti-drug drive from tomorrow

19 Nov 2018 | 1:32 AM

CHANDIGARH: Bollywood playback singer Alamgir Khan has been roped in by the state Youth Congress to sing motivational song for their youth-oriented anti-drug campaign, ‘Jawani Sambhal Morcha’, which is set to start from November 20.

SGPC has coins minted to mark Guru’s anniversary

SGPC has coins minted to mark Guru’s anniversary

19 Nov 2018 | 1:32 AM

AMRITSAR: The SGPC has got gold and silver coins minted to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

Khali’s event kicks up GST row

Khali’s event kicks up GST row

19 Nov 2018 | 1:32 AM

NANGAL:While the state Finance Ministry is imposing new taxes and cess on common man to wriggle out from financial crisis being faced by Punjab, tickets of a private wrestling event organised by Dalip Singh, known as ‘Great Khali’ were sold without deducting Goods and Service Tax (GST) or mentioning its numbers, here today.

Sub-Inspector accuses Dirba police of inaction

Sub-Inspector accuses Dirba police of inaction

19 Nov 2018 | 1:32 AM

SANGRUR:Two days after Pargat Singh, husband of Dirba Congress councillor Sukhwinder Kaur, allegedly took away the car of a Sub-Inspector (SI) of the Punjab police at gunpoint, the SI accused the Dirba police of not taking action in the case.

Dhawan joins AAP, attacks BJP, Cong

19 Nov 2018 | 1:32 AM

CHANDIGARH:Senior BJP leader and former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan today formally joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the presence of its senior leaders from the Punjab unit.

Nigerian held with Rs 1.75-cr heroin

19 Nov 2018 | 1:32 AM

MOHALI:Sleuths of the Special Task Force, Mohali, arrested a Nigerian with 270 gm of heroin, worth around Rs 1.

6 injured in clash over land dispute

19 Nov 2018 | 1:32 AM

BARNALA: Six persons were injured after two groups clashed at Karmgarh village of the district over the possession of an agriculture land.

Cash, cheque book stolen from shop

19 Nov 2018 | 1:32 AM

DERA BASSI:Thieves struck at a bookstore here on Saturday night and decamped with cash and a cheque book.

Under debt, farmer ends life in Bathinda

19 Nov 2018 | 1:32 AM

BATHINDA: Reeling under a debt of Rs 15 lakh, a 64-year-old farmer allegedly committed suicide by consuming pesticide at Sidana village near Rampura Phul on Saturday.

Punjab Diary

When jija had a hearty laugh

19 Nov 2018 | 1:32 AM

Jalandhar: During a SAD dharna on the issue of SC post-matric scholarship in Jalandhar recently, the organisers perhaps did not exercise much caution in ensuring that the steps to the stage are properly balanced.

Badal quizzed by SIT on 2015 firing, calls it ‘political vendetta’

Badal quizzed by SIT on 2015 firing, calls it ‘political vendetta’

17 Nov 2018 | 10:41 AM

CHANDIGARH: Former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was on Friday quizzed by a special investigation team (SIT) of the Punjab Police at his residence here.

Doctor manhandled, hospital vandalised after death of a six-yr-old boy

18 Nov 2018 | 10:29 PM

PHAGWARA: Agitated over the death of their six-year-old son, bereaved parents and their supporters on Sunday allegedly vandalised a private hospital and manhandled one of its doctors, the police said.

SIT to question Sukhbir at police HQs in Chandigarh on Monday

SIT to question Sukhbir at police HQs in Chandigarh on Monday

18 Nov 2018 | 10:24 PM

CHANDIGARH: The Special Investigation Team probing the Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura police firing will question SAD president and former Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal in Chandigarh on Monday.

I saw a person throw something and run... and then a blast: EyewitnessAmritsar blast

I saw a person throw something and run... and then a blast: Eyewitness

19 Nov 2018 | 1:42 AM

AMRITSAR: Nearly 200 devotees attending a religious congregation at 'Nirankari Bhavan' in Amritsar rushed for safety after unexpectedly being pushed into chaos on Sunday, when two men on a motorcycle hurled a hand grenade on the premises, eyewitnesses said.

CM Amarinder suspects ISI hand in Amritsar ‘terror’ attack

CM Amarinder suspects ISI hand in Amritsar ‘terror’ attack

19 Nov 2018 | 1:42 AM

CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh suspected on Sunday Pakistan’s ISI-backed Khalistani or Kashmiri militants’ role in the Amritsar terror attack that killed three persons and injured 20 others, and vowed that he would not let the “forces of terror” destroy the state’s “hard-earned peace”.

Rajnath speaks to Capt; vows to punish perpetrators of Amritsar blast

Rajnath speaks to Capt; vows to punish perpetrators of Amritsar blast

18 Nov 2018 | 5:22 PM

NEW DELHI: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday spoke to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and took stock of the situation arising out of a grenade attack at a religious gathering in Amritsar which claimed three lives.

3 killed, 20 injured in grenade blast at religious congregation near Amritsar’s Rajasansi

3 killed, 20 injured in grenade blast at religious congregation near Amritsar’s Rajasansi

19 Nov 2018 | 1:42 AM

AMRITSAR: At least three people were killed and 20 injured in an explosion inside the Nirankari Bhavan at Adliwal village near Amritsar’s Rajasansi on Sunday, police said. Two people threw a hand grenade at the religious congregation and escaped.

Gandhi bats for unified Punjab

18 Nov 2018 | 1:40 AM

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab Manch led by MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi on Saturday gave a call to Punjabis to unite.

Man thrashes PSPCL employee, booked

18 Nov 2018 | 1:40 AM

Muktsar: The police have booked a resident of Roranwala village for allegedly creating obstruction in the duty of a PSPCL employee and thrashing him on Friday.

2 get 10-year jail for murder bid

18 Nov 2018 | 1:40 AM

MOGA: Six years after a teacher was shot at by contract killers allegedly hired by her NRI husband, Additional District and Sessions Judge Jagdeep Sood on Saturday awarded 10 years’ imprisonment to the two assailants — Tota Singh and Birbal Singh.

Farmers end fast after week

18 Nov 2018 | 1:40 AM

BATHINDA: Four farmers under the banner of the BKU (Ekta) Sidhupur ended their “fast-unto-death” on the seventh day here on Saturday.

Found absent, three officials suspended

18 Nov 2018 | 1:40 AM

CHANDIGARH: After a surprise visit to Mattewara animal husbandry farm, Cabinet minister Balbir Singh Sidhu on Saturday suspended three officials after they were found absent from duty and on the suspicion of indulging in illegal sale of farm animals.

Villagers recall Chandpuri as ace footballer

Villagers recall Chandpuri as ace footballer

18 Nov 2018 | 1:40 AM

NAWANSHAHR: The residents of Chandpur Rurki and Saroya villages in Nawanshahr district mourned the death of Brig Kuldip Singh Chandpuri.

Teachers up ante against govt

18 Nov 2018 | 1:40 AM

NEW DELHI: Leaders of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) Teachers’ Union, Punjab, alleged here today that Congress president Rahul Gandhi had refused to meet their delegation.

Can’t survive on Rs5,300  job, say Iraq victims’ kin

Can’t survive on Rs5,300 job, say Iraq victims’ kin

18 Nov 2018 | 1:40 AM

JALANDHAR: Families of 27 Iraq victims, who were killed in Mosul in 2014, today said the government had failed to keep the promise of paying them Rs 20,000 as allowances per month and jobs as per their abilities.

SAD: Dharamsot lying on SC scholarships

18 Nov 2018 | 1:40 AM

CHANDIGARH: Accusing Social Welfare Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot of twisting and fabricating figures of the SC Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme, the SAD on Saturday dared the minister to come clean on why the state government was deliberately misusing the scholarship funds.

Row over Anand Karaj at Ranveer-Deepika wedding

Row over Anand Karaj at Ranveer-Deepika wedding

18 Nov 2018 | 7:29 PM

AMRITSAR: An Italian Sikh organisation has alleged that the Sikh code of conduct was violated during the wedding of Bollywood actors Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone.

Capt aide Sekhon dies at 62

Capt aide Sekhon dies at 62

18 Nov 2018 | 1:40 AM

CHANDIGARH: Karan Pal Sekhon, Political Secretary to Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, passed away while on a holiday with his family in Egypt on Friday night.

Book Ghubaya for ‘threatening’ cop, says AAP

18 Nov 2018 | 1:40 AM

SANGRUR: Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann on Saturday spoke to Sub-Inspector Luvmeet Kaur, who was allegedly threatened by Congress MLA Davinder Singh Ghubaya.

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