Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Court On Its Own Motion Vs. State of Punjab dated 11/09/2013 regarding groundwater pollution caused by textile and the electroplating industries in the State of Punjab.

After a second review of the functioning of the Punjab Cancer Rahat Kosh Scheme, at least two more hospitals are to be removed from the list of approved hospitals because of deficient services.

Amritsar, July 29: Despite directions from the Punjab and Haryana High Court to check the menace, illegal sand mining continues unabated in Ajnala sub-division of the district.

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday stayed e-auction of minor mineral quarries in 19 districts of Punjab.

60 cities found to generate staggering 3,501 tonnes a day

The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), which was tabled in the Vidhan Sabha today, points out lacunae in the execution of works under the Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojna.

Industrial units in Punjab continue to discharge untreated effluents in open drains and water channels even though the state government has been campaigning for a greener Punjab.

The lackadaisical approach of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) in taking stern action against the industrial units flouting the norms is one of the major reasons behind the non-compliance of the norms.

In 2009, a government survey had counted 7,738 people living with cancer across Punjab. Now that a fresh survey has counted 23,874, over three times as high, the government has acknowledged the need to identify the causes and tackle what is clearly a menace.

"Fresh studies will have to be undertaken, especially for areas where cancer incidence is high," says Health Minister Madan Mohan Mittal. The nearly 24,000 cases detected was in addition to over 33,000 deaths from cancer-related causes in the last five years — around 18 a day — and 84,453 people who showed cancer-like symptoms but who hadn't yet been diagnosed with the disease.

Against the national average of 10% among injectable drug users, the count stands much high at 40% in Amritsar and 27% in Tarn Taran

The rampant drug addiction among youths in Punjab is putting them at the risk of bigger danger — HIV infection. The HIV prevalence among injectable drug users (IDUs) is 27 per cent in Tarn Taran and 40 per cent in Amritsar, much above the national average of 10 per cent. The Opiod Substitution Therapy (OST) Centre here has over 1,000 registered male patients, of whom 180 have been regularly visiting the centre to avail the treatment. Amritsar too has an OST Centre with 420 men listed with it; 90 have been visiting regularly for treatment.

Illegal sand mining in Amritsar and its surrounding areas continues unabated, thanks to a shortage of staff in the Industries Department and the alleged indifferent attitude of the Police Department.

The illegal activity has resulted in environmental degradation. It is also proving a security threat as mining is being done near the Indo-Pak border from where the Ravi flows. The Rajasansi police yesterday intercepted a truck and a trolley laden with sand coming from the Ajnala side. Though the police impounded the vehicles, the accused managed to escape.

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