In a major initiative to clean up drains, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has constituted a special task force to free the Budha nallah or drain of polluting effluents in a mission mode.
The task force, with Baba Udai Singh of Naamdhari Sect as its patron, will submit its report to the Chief Minister within two months, according to an official spokesperson.
Baba Udai Singh, who met the Chief Minister on Monday, had accepted the request to act as the patron, the spokesperson told IANS. He has pledged his full support and cooperation in the government’s endeavours towards the cause.
The Chief Minister has directed the Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh to constitute the task force, consisting of elected representatives, technocrats and public figures.
The task force has been mandated to study and suggest measures to address issues of treating industrial effluents, solid waste management, besides ways to proactively engage with the public at large in this cause.
The Chief Minister has also asked the Local Government Department to submit a proposal to enhance the capacity of sewage treatment plants from the current 516 million litres per day (MLD) to 675 MLD, besides augmenting the treatment facilities for industrial effluents.
Amarinder Singh directed both the Local Bodies and Industries Departments to expeditiously complete all ongoing works being carried out to flush out toxic substances from the Buddha nallah.
He also asked the Principal Secretary Water Resources Sarvjit Singh to draw up a detailed plan for a lasting remedy for channelling and beautifying the 14km-long drain, which flows through Ludhiana city.
Principal Secretary Water Resources said close to 700 MLD of water was flowing into the drain, of which 80 per cent is coming from municipal sewerage with industries contributing around 15 per cent.