The Tribune – Three water recharging channels at Golden Temple (Harmandr Sahib)

Tribune News Service

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 17 June 2019. A state-of-the-art water recharging and recycling system has been made operational on the premises of the Golden Temple.

Named as ‘Rainwater Harvesting and Recharging Mechanism’, the project has been set up by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) through Jalandhar-based firm Varun Mitra-Friends of Water.

Under the project, three recharging channels have been set up to recycle and recharge the ‘sarovar’ water that was being used to clean the ‘parkarma’ and the causeway leading to the sanctum sanctorum.

PPCB chairman Kahan Singh Pannu on Monday directed the firm to extend the project to channelise the water being used for ablution process at the ‘charan ganga’ (small pool of water where devotees wash their feet before entering the shrine).

SGPC staffers and volunteers draw water from the sarovar twice a day to clean the causeway or bridge that leads to the sanctum sanctorum, which is 202 feet in length and 21 feet in width. The same procedure is adopted to clean the 13-foot parikrama that runs around the shrine.

While inaugurating the project, Pannu, also the director of the Tandrust Punjab Mission, said the old water recharging system in the Golden Temple complex had become redundant and hence a more effective system was made operational now.

The treated water would be recycled for multiple uses and would help recharge the underground water table and decrease the pressure on sewerage of the city. “The problem with the sarovar water was that it contained human hair and other dust particles that used to jam the channel. Now, this new system will pave a smooth passage for water to enter into the recharging channels,” he said.

First Post – Stubble burning continuing in Amritsar despite Punjab government’s awareness measures, says district’s deputy commissioner

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 28 October 2018. Despite the deterioration in air quality in New Delhi and the adjoining areas, farmers in Amritsar continue to burn paddy-stubble and further deteriorate air quality, despite an order of prohibition.

Amritsar Deputy Commissioner Kamaldeep Singh Sangha said, “According to the National Green Tribunal and the Supreme Court the Punjab government tried to spread awareness on how to incorporate paddy straw in different ways. The agriculture department also spoke to the farmers and that worked.

Still, some people continued stubble burning and our team of officers had fined them according to the NGT order. One officer has been posted in every village to spread awareness on stubble burning. Things will start improving from now onwards.”

Data by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) showed a decline in the paddy stubble-burning in Punjab this Kharif season.

The data from the PPCB reflects that 7503 cases of stubble-burning have been reported until Friday in 2018. During the corresponding periods in the last two years, there were 13,364 and 19,879 cases of farm burning.

The report by the pollution control board shows that Amritsar witnessed a slight dip in stubble-burning cases. A little more than 700 incidents have been recorded in 2018 as compared to 785 in 2017 and little lesser than 1000 in 2016.

The decline can be attributed to various factors, including awareness and farmers adhering to governmental policies in mitigating the farm fires.

Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan expressed concerns over the increase in air pollution levels in Delhi and its neighbouring cities and assured that the Centre will make all efforts to curb the menace.

“This time the Central government had appointed 41 teams from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to do field study of four cities, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Gurugrama and Haryana in order to curb the issue from the grass root level.

We will make efforts to curb the issue of air pollution,” the minister told reporters earlier in the day.