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Almost half of the outlets that pollute the Buddha Nullah in Ludhiana are still open


Sukhpreet Singh, Ludhiana

Oct 02, 2023 07:26 AM IST

Drains are required to be closed under the ₹840 crore Buddha Nullah rejuvenation project, the deadline for which has been extended up to March 2024

VIDEO: Increased cancer cases happening because of pollution in Buddha Nullah: Ludhiana Doctor
ANI News

Nearly half — 104 of the total 214 — drain outlets required to be closed under the 840 crore Buddha Nullah rejuvenation project are still pumping out untreated discharge into the water body.

As many as 104 of the total 214 drain outlets are still pumping out untreated discharge into Ludhiana’s Buddha Nullah. (HT Photo)
As many as 104 of the total 214 drain outlets are still pumping out untreated discharge into Ludhiana’s Buddha Nullah. (HT Photo)

The ambitious project, initiated in 2020, had an original deadline of 2022-end, but the same was pushed to March 2024 — citing various challenges.

The primary objective of the project was to shut the outlets, which were to be connected to nearby sewage treatment plants to ensure wastewater undergoes proper treatment before entering the nullah.

Municipal corporation (MC) officials from the department revealed that 214 outlets that needed attention were identified and they are actively working to close these outlets. Among those, 42 fall under Zone A, 53 under Zone B, and 119 under Zone D.

Officials reported that 110 outlets have already been successfully closed, while the others, primarily responsible for discharging untreated water into the Buddha Nullah, are now under increased scrutiny. They added that notices have also been issued to the individuals concerned responsible for the outlets.

Additional municipal commissioner Paramdeep Singh said, “I joined recently and we are reviewing the project meticulously. A majority of the outlets that are not closed are the minor ones and we have already directed the concerned officials to shut these outlets which are discharging polluted water into the Nullah.

“As many as 15 outlets have been shut in the past three days,” he noted, adding that as the project moves forward, the focus remains on meeting the extended deadline and ensuring the effective closure of all outlets, ultimately safeguarding the environment and the health of the local populace.

In addition to these outlets, officials have also taken action against 17 scattered outlet points also polluting the Nullah. Notices have been served to address the issue as well.

Work to set up treatment plants on track

The larger rejuvenation project involves the setting up of new sewage treatment plants (STP) with capacities of treating 225 million litres per day (MLD) and 60 MLD at Jamalpur and Balloke, respectively, work for which is already complete.

Additionally, six new intermediate pumping stations will be strategically placed along the banks of Nullah to efficiently divert wastewater. Three of them are already operational, while the other are expected to start functioning soon.

Furthermore, the project includes two effluent treatment plants (ETP), each with capacities of 2.25 MLD and 3.75 MLD. These ETPs will play a crucial role in managing wastewater flow from dairy complexes located at Tajpur road and Haibowal.

Speaking about the progress on that front, officials said most of the project has been completed and a network of pipelines will facilitate the transportation of wastewater from intermediate pumping stations to the respective STPs.

Besides, the project also encompasses the rehabilitation of two existing STPs with capacities of 111 MLD and 152 MLD at Bhattian and Balloke, respectively. Moreover, there will be a one-time repair and overhauling of two existing STPs, which are based on Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR) technology and have capacities of 50 MLD and 105 MLD, located at Bhattian and Balloke.

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