Udayavni Special

NGT directs Punjab chief secy on payment of STP maintenance charges


PTI, Jun 11, 2021, 1:22 PM IST

New Delhi:  The National Green Tribunal has directed the Punjab chief secretary to issue directions to municipal bodies for timely payment of maintenance charges of Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) to the contractors responsible for their operation.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel also directed Punjab to take remedial action in terms of the recommendations of monitoring committee, headed by former Judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court.

“The chief secretary, Punjab, may issue appropriate directions in terms of the above recommendations to the concerned officers. We also request the monitoring committee to continue monitoring compliance and furnish a further status report as on September 30, 2021 before the next date by e-mail,” the bench, also comprising Justice Brijesh Sethi, said.

The NGT also directed the Punjab Water supply and sewerage Board (PWSSB) to operate STPs for the towns namely Jalalabad, Abohar, Talwandi Bhai, Zira, Makhu, Moga, Dharamkot, Ferozepur, Gidderbaha, Malout and Sri Mukhtar Sahib (2 STPs of capacity 8.7 MLD and 5.7 MLD) effectively and efficiently.

It also directed the officers of Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) and Department of Water Supply and Sanitation (DWSS) to monitor ground water of 10 hand pumps of Fazilka district area within 15 days and in case, contamination is observed in the ground water samples, the ground water sources may be sealed and display board mentioning that the ground water source is not fit for drinking purposes may be erected at the sites.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Vikram Ahuja seeking remedial action for violation of environmental norms by discharge of untreated sewage and effluents into the drains and other water bodies in Fazilka district in Punjab.

The NGT had earlier considered the matter after persuing a report of the Monitoring Committee headed by Justice Jasbir Singh, former Judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The monitoring committee had visited the site and analysed the ground water samples after which meetings were held with the concerned stakeholders and recommendations were made for the remedial action.

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