In an endeavour to make the state clean, green and pollution-free, Punjab Chief Secretary, Ms Vini Mahajan, on Tuesday, issued a slew of directions, including release of 200 cusecs water into Budha Nullah from Sirhind canal by next month and setting up of a task force to eliminate the single-use plastic menace to save the environment.
Chairing the 13th state apex committee to review the progress of environment action plans, the Chief Secretary directed the Water Resources department to complete the project of releasing 200 cusecs of fresh water from Sirhind canal into Budha Nullah by May besides immediately stopping the discharge of sewage and effluents, mainly from Ludhiana, into the Sutlej river, of which Budha Nullah is a seasonal tributary.
Ms Mahajan also ordered the setting up of a task force to eliminate single-use plastic and ensure monitoring the implementation of Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016 in the state. She insisted that the utmost responsibility of eliminating single-use plastic from towns having a million-plus population lies with the Municipal Commissioners and the Deputy Commissioners concerned. The matter would be reviewed at state level once in two months.
Reviewing the progress of 120 sewerage treatment plants (STPs) being set up in various towns of the state, the Chief Secretary directed all the departments concerned to complete these projects in a stipulated time frame.
During the review of progress for control of air pollution in 9 non-attainment cities of the state, the Chief Secretary was apprised that 50 steel re-rolling mills of the total 683 industrial units have converted from coal to CNG/ PNG. She asked the PPCB to complete the process of converting the remaining units at the earliest.
The Secretary, Science Technology and Environment, Rahul Tiwari, apprised the Chief Secretary that of the total 118 induction furnaces, 113 have already adopted the technology of side suction hood to control the air pollution. This has resulted in considerable reduction of air pollution in Mandi Gobindgarh, Khanna and Ludhiana.
Ms Mahajan further instructed the Municipal Corporation of Ludhiana to extend full cooperation to the Punjab Energy Development Agency in ensuring the optimum capacity operation of the biogas plant set up for Haibowal dairy complex in Ludhiana.
Reiterating the firm commitment of the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh-led Punjab Government to make the state’s environment clean, green and pollution-free, the Chief Secretary asked the departments concerned to take all the necessary measures to address the major environmental challenges to combat the water and air pollution besides ensuring solid and plastic waste management in a scientific manner. “It is even more important in the prevailing pandemic situation that all the departments should take care of environment related issues of the state more seriously,” she emphasised.
The meeting was attended by the Principal Secretaries Sarvjit Singh (Water Resources), Jaspreet Talwar (Water Supply and Sanitation), Ajoy Kumar Sinha (Local Government) and other senior officials of the departments concerned.