Monsoon mayhem: 400 Ludhiana dyeing units asked to shut operations till further orders


Looking at the rising level of water in Sutlej River and Buddha Dariya due to incessant rain in the region, Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner Surabhi Malik on Monday formally ordered closure of around 400 dyeing units based at various locations of the district till further orders.

Though the district administration had got these units closed on Sunday afternoon itself via verbal orders, official orders were issued on Monday evening.

Information revealed that the sewage treatment plant (STP) at Bhattian was not working properly and the sewerage water was overflowing from this STP due to which dyeing, printing and washing units were told not to operate till further orders. It may be noted that these units release huge amount of water during their operations and they release the water in Buddha Dariya itself which is already full to the brim.

The deputy commissioner said, “The Bhattian STP has started flowing reverse. It is not functioning properly due to which waterlogging can happen in some residential areas.”

The orders were issued under Section 34 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005. The DC has asked the municipal commissioner and the superintending engineer of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) to ensure implementation of the orders.

Dyeing units located on Bahadur Ke Road, Tajpur Road, Samrala Road, at Industrial Area-A, Moti Nagar, Sunder Nagar, Focal Point and other areas have been asked to shut their operations. In addition to these, printing and washing operations of clothes in hosiery units have also been told to shut their operations for now.

“Most of the factories located on Tajpur Road and Bahadur Ke Road have no choice but to shut their operations as the Sutlej has swelled up. On Monday the rainwater entered these factories. Though the situation is under control, the weather condition is not conducive to to operate these units,” said Bobby Jindal from the Federation of Dyeing Association, Punjab.

Even Local Bodies Department has stopped water supply in the afternoon hours in most of the districts of Punjab to reduce the load of sewerage outflow.

“Sewerage lines are full to its capacity. We are giving morning and evening water supply, but have stopped afternoon supply as of now. No doubt we get many complaints, but we can’t do anything as we can’t add more load to the STPs,” said a Ludhiana Municipal Corporation employee while talking to The Indian Express.

However, with off and on power tripping, water supply further gets reduced as tube wells can’t operate without electricity. So, despite a dip in temperature, people are facing basic problems like power outage and water shortage in many parts of Ludhiana.

According to the National Green Tribunal data (January 2020), not more than 21% of the water of STPs is being reused. The rest is released into water bodies and that is adding further load to the rivers during the rains.

The sewage generation in the entire state is around 2,400 million litres per day (MLD), while the STPs in the state are not of more than 1,800 MLD capacity. The actual sewage treatment happening on the ground is less than 1,800 MLD, sources said.

“As the STP water is not reused properly, measures like reducing the water supply, or shutting the industrial units for that matter have to be taken to bring things under control,” said Tarsem Singh, a resident of Pakhowal Road of Ludhiana.

“The sewer lines are also not cleaned properly, and that’s why early monsoon has wreaked havoc in several areas,” said Jaskirat Singh, an environment activist.

Meanwhile, information revealed that restrictions on dyeing units and water supply hours will be lifted as and when the situation improves.


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