Punjab Pollution Control Board report on contamination of groundwater in village Aloarakh, district Sangrur, 28/09/2022

  • 01/10/2022

Status report in compliance to the National Green Tribunal order, March 31, 2022 passed in Original Application No. 169 of 2021 (H.C. Arora Vs State of Punjab & Others).

The NGT has taken cognizance of an application filed by HC Arora with grievance against failure of the state authorities to take remedial measures against contamination of groundwater in village Aloarakh, block Bhawanigarh, district Sangrur. Reference has been made to the media report, July 8, 2021 published in Hindustan Times titled 'Sangrur tube wells spews out polluted water; PPCB blames dismantled factory'.

In compliance with the NGT order, March 31, 2022, the Chief Secretary, Punjab directed the constitution of a monitoring committee.

A meeting was held and it was observed that certain actions were required to be taken with regard to the contaminated site, such as marking the contaminated tubewells as 'water not fit for drinking'; declaration of the site as 'contaminated site'; execution of short term and long term remediation plans; a detailed study by an expert agency; to place the information in public domain and regular monitoring of quality of contaminated water.

The report mentioned the compliance status. The NGT was informed that display boards have been installed by the team consisting of assistant environmental engineer of Punjab Pollution Control Board and Naib Tehsildar, Bhawanigarh, district Sangrur in English as well as in Punjabi language indicating 'Water not fit for drinking' at five tubewells around the site, which have been found contaminated by the Joint Committee earlier constituted by the NGT.

The Punjab Pollution Control Board has written a letter, June 6, 2022 to the Member Secretary, Central Pollution Control Board with the request to advice as to whether the site stands notified as contaminated site and whether PPCB can proceed to implement the remediation plan as suggested by the Joint Committee and directed by the NGT.

Note: The report of September 28, 2022 was uploaded to the NGT site October 1, 2022