Saturday, July 17, 2010

PPCB courts controversy over Sutlej water samples

Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Teja Rawela (Fazilka), July 16
A controversy has erupted over the issue connected with the collection of water samples by a team of Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) led by its chairman Rajat Aggarwal from the river Sutlej flowing near this village.

While the residents of this village alleged that officials of PPCB did not enter into the river and asked the children playing at the spot to collect water samples for them, Deputy Commissioner, Ferozepur, KK Yadav, who accompanied the team, claimed that samples of water had been collected in a professional manner by the team members.

Yesterday, a battery of engineers and scientists led by Aggarwal descended on this village, which remained in limelight of late due to the fact that residents of this and its neighbouring villages have been suffering from various ailments due to consumption of polluted water, to collect water samples for laboratory analysis of the same.

The residents said that PPCB engineers and scientists must have taken water samples on their own instead of pressing the children into service for the same task as the children did not know how and from which point water for sampling must be collected.

They added that the PPCB team must have collected water samples before the monsoon rains as due to rains, the water flow in river Sutlej had increased and it had taken a major quantity of pollutants away. They said that they were not aware of the report of laboratory analysis of water samples taken from the same spots in the past few months by different agencies of state government.

Yadav said that residents of village were levelling baseless allegations.

He said that collection of water samples would be a continuous process so that a comprehensive analysis of water could be made for further action.

The Deputy Commissioner said that the Army and the BSF authorities had been involved in this process and they had been asked to report the matter to him immediately whenever they found discoloured, stinking and smell emanating water in river Sutlej so that its samples could be taken without any delay for laboratory analysis.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Water Supply and Sanitation Department, has written warning notes at various points in this and its neighbouring villages asking residents not to use water being drawn through hand pumps as the same is not fit for human consumption

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