Pollution Level high in Sutlej River, People of Ferozepur-Fazilka getting affected

Rozana Spokesman

News, Punjab

Pollution levels are high on all parameters, with water quality ranging from "B" to "C"


CHANDIGARH: Hundreds of leather tanneries in Kasur, Pakistan pollute the Sutlej River, both in Telu Malwala village, before re-entering India and then in Ghazni Wala village, affecting the health and livelihood of people around Ferozepur and Fajilaka. 

The Punjab government will raise this issue with Pakistan at the international level. Water samples collected from the entry points of the Kasur River into India prove that pollution levels are high on all parameters, with water quality ranging from "B" to "C" (the lowest grade for a water source). 

Reports of excess toxic substances in the river are being sent to the chairman of the Central Pollution Control Board, who has been asked to take up the matter with Pakistan through the Ministry of External Affairs. The neighboring country will be asked to treat the tanneries' water before discharging it into the river.

Although the residents of the villages of Ferozepur and Fazilka have been complaining about the highly polluted water entering the country for a long time now, with the intervention of Governor Banwarilal Purohit, the government has decided to raise the issue at the international level. During his previous visit to the border districts of the state, Governor Banwari Lal Purohit was apprised of the health problems faced by the residents and the adverse effects on their citrus groves. After this, he raised this matter with the state government through Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Janjua.

Subsequently, the State Pollution Control Board was asked to check the pollution levels of the river at all points where the river enters Pakistan and re-enters India. The report also found that the water quality in Walle Shah Hithar, a village in Fazilka, was "C" (poor).

Harish Nadda, leader of a local farmers' union in Fazilka, who has been protesting over the issue of toxic substances being dumped into the river by tanneries in Kasur, said that residents of around 150 villages have been badly affected by this pollution. He said, "Heavily polluted and untreated water from tanneries discharging into Kasur before it enters the river, cases of cancer, hepatitis C and skin diseases are increasing among the residents here. Our gardens have been destroyed as toxic substances have seeped into the ground as black red water is standing here in Ganda Singh's pond."