Punjab

PUNJAB MADE POLICY FOR REUSE OF TREATED WASTE WATER FOR VARIOUS URBAN ACTIVITIES, GOVT. TOLD TO HIGHCOURT

September 18, 2019 06:16 PM

Chandigarh (Subhash Jindal)

In compliance of orders issued in PIL filed by Advocate H.C.Arora, Punjab Government produces a notification before the High Court, notifying its policy for reuse of treated Waste Water for various Urban Activities”, mainly for construction purpose. After 5 months, there will be total ban against extraction of ground water for construction purpose: 

During resumed hearing of a PIL PIL filed by Advocate H.C.Arora, Government produces a notification before the High Court, notifying its policy for reuse of treated Waste Water for various Urban Activities”, mainly for construction purpose, fire-fighting and gardening etc. Notification dated 17th November, 2019 issued by Local Government department, Punjab, fixes a time frame of 5 months for setting up entire infrastructure for transportation of treated waste water from STP (Severage Treatment Plant) to end users, in towns/cities where treated waste water is available.

In other areas, where treated waste water is not available, the Government will set up infrastructure for transportation of treated waste water from STP (Sewerage Treatment Plant) to end users within a period of not more than 24 months. Thereafter there will be complete ban on use of fresh supply of potable water for such activities, like construction purpose, fire-extinguishing and gardening.

Water metering policy shall be implemented within 12 months from date of notification. Meanwhile, the Local Government department shall determine the price of treated waste water, keeping in view a host of factors, such as investment made on developing infrastructure for sewage collection and treatment, quantity of treated water supplied, requirement of distribution infrastructure and other social, cultural and business factors. 

Advocate H.C. Arora, who had appeared as petitioner-in-person had filed the instant PIL in 2012 for seeking total ban on extraction and use of ground water in the State of Punjab, for construction purpose, in view of various notifications issued by Central Ground Water Authority, declaring a large number of Blocks of Punjab as “notified areas”, on account of critical position of ground water, and had been issuing directions from time to time that there should be a complete prohibition on using ground water for construction purpose. He had also prayed that State be directed to permit use of only treated waste water for such construction purposes, so that depletion of ground water may be checked.

It took a journey of seven long years for H.C. Arora, to reach the stage when eventually, the Punjab Government notified its decision on 19th of this month. Earlier, vide its affidavit filed by Director , Department of Local Government, Punjab on December 3rd, 2018, Government had stated that it was in the process of formulating its policy for providing mechanism for use of treated waster water for construction purpose.

It had also given its road map for setting up Sewerage Treatment Plants in various cities and towns, where not already existing. It has also declared that it would usher in a campaign for creating awareness amongst the people for using treated waste water for construction purpose. 

The PIL shall come up for resumed hearing on October 1st, 2019, when petitioner is expected to give his reaction to the affidavit and notification filed by the Government in the Court today. 

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