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NGT forms panel to study groundwater contamination in Punjab

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The National Green Tribunal today formed an expert-level committee to study and analyse the ground water contamination in several districts of Punjab and termed it a serious issue.

"Out of the total 76 samples collected from Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Bhatinda, Mohali and Gurdaspur by Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), 56 samples were found to be contaminated. It is clear that there are serious issues of ground water level contamination in various districts of Punjab," a bench headed by NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar said.

The green panel constituted an expert committee comprising senior officer from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), senior officer from Central Groundwater Authority (CGA), Professor from College of Agriculture, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, Medical Superintendent of PGI Chandigarh, officer from PPCB and other experts from different department.

It directed that the expert team shall collect samples from all the districts especially from industrial and residential areas and also from water bodies. The panel said that the samples collected should be analysed in three different laboratories.

"The status report shall be filed with respect to collection, analysis and the impact of ground water contamination on human health within eight weeks," the bench said.

It said the team shall also identify the source of contamination and the member secretary of Punjab Pollution Control Board shall be the nodal officer to oversee the compliance of tribunal's direction.

The green panel had on August 6 directed the PPCB to collect samples of ground water from Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Bhatinda, Mohali and Gurdaspur in the presence of representatives from Ministry of Environment and Forests, Central Pollution Control Board and director of Industry, Punjab.

The tribunal had taken suo motu cognisance of the groundwater contamination in Punjab in 2013 and had passed several directions in this regard to the PPCB and civic bodies.

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First Published: Fri, October 30 2015. 20:07 IST