NEW DELHI: Heeding the plea by Punjab MLAs from AAP alleging pollution in Beas and Satluj rivers, where dead fish and other aquatic animals have been found floating, the National Green Tribunal today sought response from the Centre and the Punjab government on the issue and ordered inspection of the areas.
While ordering joint inspection by Central Pollution Control Board and the state pollution control board, a bench headed by acting Chairperson Justice Jawad Rahim issued notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Ministry of Water Resources, Central Ground Water Authority, Punjab and Rajasthan governments, Punjab Pollution Control Board and others.
The green panel directed the inspection team to visit the affected areas and submit a report on the reported death of aquatic animals after identifying the source of pollution.
"We direct CPCB and state pollution control board to conduct joint inspections of the areas indicated in the application, collect samples from both the rivers including the spots alleged in the application. The collection point shall be upstream and downstream and from the discharge point and also from the drain namely Buddha Nalla. The samples collected shall be preserved in three sets. One sample will be subjected for chemical analysis. Report of the samples collected shall be prepared by the joint inspection team. The report of the joint inspection shall be filed before the tribunal within two weeks from now," the bench said while posting the matter for hearing on July 17.
The tribunal's order came on a plea filed by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs Sukhpal Singh Khaira (Bholath), Nazar Singh Mansahia (Mansa) and Rupinder Kaur Ruby (Bathinda Rural) seeking directions to protect Beas and Satluj rivers from sewage and other pollutants from sugar mills.
The plea claimed that the pollution in the river was caused due to leakage of molasses which was being discharged from sugar industries, resulting in destruction of aquatic flora and fauna.
They also produced photographs along with their petition showing dead fish spilling out of the rivers and floating near the banks.