Wait for sewage treatment plant may get longer for Mohali residents

Sas Nagar: The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) recently tested its sewage treatment plant. But there is neither an approach road to the plant, nor any arrangement to transport the sewage water to the main treatment plant. According to sources in GMADA, the work for the approach road has not started yet because of a legal tussle between Authority and farmers, who own the land over which the road will be constructed. The pipes, which will bring sewage water to the treatment plant, could not be laid as a railway crossing falls in the way and the pipes would have to be laid beneath the rail tracks, for which the GMADA has not yet received the permission. However, according to a GMADA official, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued directions to Railway authorities to fix the pipes beneath the track soon. While the treatment plant is yet to start functioning, sewage water, stink and filth have become breeding grounds of mosquitoes, posing serious health problems for Mohali residents. Jaspal Singh, a resident of Phase-IX, said that due to the foul smell emanating from the nullah passing through the phase, residents have been suffering for the past many years. Singh said the nullah was a seasonal drain but with the passage of time, the garbage and sewage water from Chandigarh and Mohali started flowing into it and now it has become impossible to livge near it. "I want to sell my house but there are no buyers and in case some people turn up, they offer very cheap price as compared to houses in other sectors or phases in Mohali,' he said. Singh said that there were hundreds of other residents in the area, whose health has been ruined due to the poor health condition around the nullah. "The authorities in the past have submitted many affidavits in the High Court promising to start the sewage treatment plant on a stipulated date, but before the date arrives, they seek further extension,' he added. When contacted on the issue, GMADA Chief Administrator Vijay Pratap Singh said the GMADA is already working on both the issues. "Chandigarh MC and GMADA have taken up a joint survey to plug the points from where the sewage is being thrown into the drain. Gradually, we will also be able to solve the problem of the stink emanating from the nullah' he added