EPD and WASA will clean River Ravi | Pakistan Today

EPD and WASA will clean River Ravi

Punjab Environment Protection Department (EPD) Secretary Saeed Iqbal Wahlah said in a meeting on Friday with EPD officials, that he will coordinate with the Water and Sanitation Agency to clean all the wastewater drainage outlets in the city.
The plan came into action after the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) conducted an inspection of the wastewater drainage outlets managed by WASA. A special squad comprising of EPA Director General Maqsood Ahmed Lak, EPA Director Nasim-ur-Rehman and other EPA officials conducted the inspection.
The squad visited all the wastewater drainage points at various locations of Lahore and observed that untreated municipal and industrial wastewater is being discharged into River Ravi through nine outlets, namely Sukh Nehar, Mehmood Booti, Shad Bagh drain, Forest Colony drain, Buddha Ravi Drain Shafiqabad, Outfall Drain Saggian Bridge, Gulshan-e-Ravi drain, Babu-Sabu drain, Farukhabad Shahdra drain and Shahdra Pind drain.
Secretary Wahlah took serious notice of the issue in the meeting and directed the EPD officials to conduct a field visit and submit a report that would help the EPD to reach a conclusion on the state of pollution in the River Ravi.
On the basis of the findings of the field visits, the EPA has issued a notice to WASA MD to appear before the EPA Director General.
Wahlah also directed that actions be initiated under Section 16 of Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997, according to which, a case will be referred to the Lahore Environmental Tribunal.
Wahlah nominated a special squad under the chairmanship of Ahmed Lak for the regular monitoring of the state of pollution in the Ravi.
After its physical inspections of the drainage channels, the EPA has identified that agglomerated, self developed settlements, unplanned industrial establishment, irregular sewage discharge, improper solid waste dumping in and around the River Ravi from the Narang Ravi Syphon down to village Maraka, has badly damaged the environment and ecological balance of the river. Wastewater tests conducted at various occasions have confirmed that the water entering from India is relatively less polluted and receives its first chunk of pollution at Sukh Nehar in Lahore.
The pollution reaches its peak once the river crosses the Hudiara Drain.
The River Ravi originates from India and enters Pakistan near a village called Tadyal/Kot Nainan, District Narowal and flows for about 560 km before merging into River Chenab at Tehsil Kabir Wala.
There is a wide variation in the river water flow with peak periods during July and August.
River Ravi is among the rivers which fall under the Indus Water Treaty, 1960, jointly signed by Pakistan and India under the guidance of the World Bank.
The Ravi is also one of the most polluted rivers of the Punjab owing to the indiscriminate disposal of untreated municipal sewage from Lahore as well as industrial effluent from the industrial units of Kala Shah Kaku, Sheikhupura Road, Kasur, Township and the Gulberg Industrial Estate located in metropolitan Lahore.
32 industries as well as the Lahore University of Management Sciences have installed wastewater treatment plants so far.
Keeping in view the dire consequences of environmental pollution, the EPD has emphasised the need for the installation of wastewater treatment plants on the River Ravi drainage points. WASA Lahore is being persuaded to control the pollution in the River Ravi, caused by the wastewater generated in Lahore, through the installation of municipal waste water treatment plants at different locations.
However, WASA has plans to construct only one treatment plant at Satu Katla and has managed to acquire 7300 kanals for this purpose. Although the environmental impact assessment of the project has been conducted, the treatment plant has yet to be installed.

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