Chandigarh, August 12

Sewage emanating from the city is being ‘passed on’ to the residents of Punjab. The highly contaminated discharge is flowing down towards the villages of Punjab and affects thousands of persons who live downstream the natural seasonal rivulets through which the sewage is pushed out.

It is not that the Chandigarh administration or the Chandigarh municipal corporation lack the infrastructure to treat the sewage. The sewage treatment plants set up at a cost of crores of rupees are either unoperational or working at minimal capacity, say sources.

Pollution Board officials claim that over 70 per cent of the sewage generated from the city was being drained out without being treated. “The delay on the part of the administration to ensure treatment of the entire discharge generated from the city is proving costly for the residents of neighbouring areas in Punjab”, said an official of the Punjab Pollution Control Board.

A treatment plant run by the administration at Raipur Khurd is unoperational. A visit to the plant revealed that the machinery was out of order since July 7. The plant, inaugurated in July 2007 by the adviser to the UT Administrator, is meant to treat the sewage generated from all the villages in its vicinity.

The over 20-year old Diggian treatment plant (Mohali) with a capacity to treat 30 MGD of sewage is treating less than 15 MGD due to the augmentation work going on. The municipal corporation plans to increase the capacity of the plant to 45 MGD, which is already a bone of contention between PUDA and the Chandigarh municipal corporation as it was now surrounded by residential and industrial areas, posing health hazards.

Another treatment plant of 25 MGD capacity in Sector 47, adjoining the 3 BRD Air Force station, is yet to be commissioned. Another treatment plant at Raipur Kalan was, however, functional. 

Source: Rajmeet Singh Tribune News Service