CHANDIGARH: Reiterating the firm commitment of the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh-led Punjab Government to make the state clean, green and pollution-free, the Chief Secretary, Ms Vini Mahajan, on Thursday directed the departments concerned to take all the necessary measures to address water and air pollution issues besides ensuring proper solid and plastic waste management.

Chairing the 15th meeting of the state apex committee to review the progress of the environment action plan, the Chief Secretary directed the Local Government department to take over the sewerage treatment plants (STPs) being operated by the Water Supply and Sanitation department and PSIEC by July 31. She also asked the department to initiate bioremediation works in all the drains at the earliest, where establishment of STPs was taking time so that immediate relief was provided to the citizens of the state.

While reviewing the water pollution in river Sutlej due to discharge of sewage and effluents mainly from Ludhiana, the Chief Secretary directed the Water Resources department to complete the project of releasing 200 cusecs of fresh water from Sirhind canal to Buddha nullah by end of this month. She also asked to make operational 40 MLD and 50 MLD CETPs in Ludhiana by July 31. This step will also help to clean the Buddha nullah, which has become the main source of pollution in Sutlej river.

Principal Secretary Rural Development and Panchayats Ramesh Ganta apprised the Chief Secretary that the work on rejuvenation of ponds has been completed in 628 villages and the work was under progress in 644 other villages.

The Chief Secretary asked the department to execute the work on rejuvenation of ponds in remaining villages at the earliest, to help increase the ground water level in the state.

Principal Secretary Local Government Ajoy Kumar Sinha informed that the state has achieved significant progress in terms of door-to-door collection and segregation of waste at source. The efforts were also being made by all the urban local bodies to create facilities for treating the waste in a scientific way.

The Chief Secretary instructed the department to step up the efforts to complete the initiatives under waste management and also initiate in-situ remediation in ULBs at the earliest to make Punjab clean and healthy.

ACS-cum-CMD PSPCL A.Venu Prasad, Principal Secretaries Sarvjit Singh (Housing and Urban Development), Anurag Verma (Science Technology and Environment), Alok Shekhar (Industries and Commerce) and Punjab Pollution Control Board member secretary Krunesh Garg also attended the meeting.

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