Thursday, July 1, 2010

Testing time for troubled waters in border villages

Ferozepur, Punjab: Following reports that tonnes of hazardous chem- icals being discharged into a Sutlej channel by tanneries in Pakistan were polluting irri- gation and drinking water in border villages in the Hussainiwala area, the Health Department has taken water samples from these villages to examine their heavy metal con- tent.

There are about 200 tanneries in Kasur town of Pakistan, bordering Hussainiwala, which discharge toxic heavy metals like mercury, lead and chromium into a Sutlej channel. This untreated water is used for irrigation and drinking by villagers of border areas.

"We have been facing this problem for 25 years. This is not the first time that water samples have been collected," said Jagir Singh (62) of Jhalee Ke Uttar, a border village.
Malkit Singh of another border village, Bhanewala, said they had no option but to drink the brackish water drawn from hand pumps."Often, dead fish are found floating in the channel, but the authorities have never taken it seriously," said Satnam Singh (75) of Jhalle Ke Uttar village.

Ferozepur Health Officer Dr Rakesh Sirki said water samples in the border villages had failed the test on earlier occasions. "We have constituted special mobile teams to visit each and every village and dissuade people from using water from the Sutlej channel," he said. Deputy Commissioner Kamal Kishore Yadav said a detailed report in this regard had been sent to the state government.

On the level of contamination of water in Teja Ruhela, another border village of Fazilka subdivision, the DC said the Pollution Control Board report had ruled out the presence of heavy metals.

He admitted that water drawn from shallow handpumps was particularly polluted. "We have sent a proposal to the state government for 450 ROs for border villages," he said.

Source: HT

1 comment:

aaru said...

this blog about Fazlika is very intresting . Mera bhi dil ab Fazlika ghumne ka kar raha hi. Very beautiful creation.