The Punjab government Tuesday laid the foundation stone of a Rs 650-crore project to clean the polluted Buddha Nullah, which dumps domestic and industrial waste of Ludhiana city into river Sutlej, within two years.
The foundation was laid by Finance Minister Manpreet Badal after Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, who was scheduled to do the honours, cancelled the plan at the last minute over health issues.
Manpreet said the Punjab government has already deposited Rs 320 crore with Ludhiana municipal corporation to ensure smooth running of the project for coming 10 years. Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu, who was also present, claimed that the polluted stream “will be transformed into Buddha Dariya (lake) in two years”.
As per the details of the approved project, a note prepared by the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board (copy with The Indian Express), says that “time period for the completion of project is two years…the project will be completely in operation by November 2022. However, some components may be put to operation earlier”.
The note says that the capital cost of the project is Rs 519 crore and “10 years of operation & maintenance will cost Rs 321 crore”.
What all the project includes
Buddha Nullah is a seasonal tributary of Sutlej, which runs almost parallel to the it through Ludhiana before merging into the river. While the total length of the nullah is 47.55 km, its most polluted stretch of 14 km passes through Ludhiana city carrying untreated domestic and industrial effluents and dumping them directly into the Sutlej at village Walipur Kalan.
The note says that “to take care of the industrial discharge, work to construct three CETPs (Common Effluent Treatment Plants) with a total capacity of 105 MLD (million liters per day) is already underway. One CETP with 15 MLD capacity is already operational and two other CETPs shall by functional by end of March 2021”.
The project has been started to manage 625 MLD domestic waste water that is dumped into the nullah. The project components include: Setting up of two new STPs with tertiary filtration for treating 285 MLD waste water (Balloke 60 MLD and Jamalpur 225 MLD), refurbishment of existing four STPs with treatment capacity of 418 MLD (Balloke and Bhattian), setting up of two Effluent Treatment Plants for treatment of 6 MLD waste water from two dairy clusters (Haibowal and Tajpur), infrastructure for transfer of waste water overflowing into Buddha Nullah to STPs and 10 years of operation and maintenance of entire infrastructure. To take care of additional unforeseen works like transfer of domestic/industrial waste water and additional treatment capacity for domestic waste water, Rs 22 crore have been provided, says the note.
Mumbai-based KIPL Limited and another firm, GVPR Engineers Limited from Hyderabad, have been awarded the project after online bidding process.
Along with construction of new STPs, the project will also include micro-forestation along Buddha Nullah, release of 200 cusecs of clean water from canal by department of irrigation and landscaping and beautification in the next phase to convert polluted water stream into erstwhile Buddha Dariya- a clean fresh water stream that it was decades back.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Ajoy Sharma, CEO, Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board, said the existing STP at Jamalpur in Ludhiana is beyond repair and is completely dysfunctional after getting damaged due to industrial discharge. “KIPL Limited will lead the project and their deadline is to complete it in two years starting January this year. They will refurbish existing STPs in Ludhiana (Balloke and Bhattian) and construct new ones. While total project cost is Rs 650 crore, the tenders have been allotted for Rs 519 crore. The additional sum of Rs 321 crore is for operational and maintenance for next 10 years.”
CM cancels visit again, Akali Dal takes a dig
As CM skipped the event due to severe back pain, the Shiromani Akali Dal accused him “ignoring” developmental projects for Ludhiana.
Gurdeep Singh Gosha, district president, Youth Akali Dal (YAD), in a statement, said, “CM cancelled his visit to Ludhiana, which shows his ignorance towards development projects. When Sukhbir Singh Badal was deputy CM, he used to visit Ludhiana almost every month but Captain has hardly visited the district in past four years. Development projects for Ludhiana have not been completed during Congress term due to this ignorant attitude of CM and his ministers”.
FM launches OTS scheme
Manpreet also launched the One Time Settlement (OTS) scheme for traders for the recovery of outstanding dues and to clear and settle their pre-GST era pending arrears, at a state-level function at Dr Manmohan Singh Auditorium in PAU campus. He said that 47,000 traders would be benefitted by the new OTS policy cleared by the state government.