The Punjab government is planning to establish a combined waste treatment plant at Hadiara Drain to treat effluent from some 825 industrial units and residential areas along the drain, The Express Tribune has learnt.
The plant will cost over Rs2 billion, cover some 35 acres and be able to treat 1,200 to 1,500 cusecs, an official requesting told The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity.
The chief minister has set up a committee headed by the finance secretary to look at the feasibility of the plant, he said.
The committee met and proposed that the methodologies adopted at the Korangi industrial area and at the Kasur tannery zone be examined to make the new proposal more practical.
The drain was built before Partition and originates in Amritsar.
It runs for 45 kilometres in India and enters Pakistan southeast of Lahore, running for some 55km before joining the Ravi near Mohlanwal.
Some 825 industrial units including paper mills, hosiery units, tanneries and chemical factories discharge their effluents directly and indirectly into the drain. Only 27 units have wastewater treatment plants.
The inhabitants of nearby areas use water from the drain to irrigate their crops.
Their animals drink the water and bathe in the drain, causing stillbirths and diseases of the skin, alimentary canal and digestive system.
The provincial government will also plant trees and construct paved roads on both sides of the drain, remove encroachments and ban the use of drain water to irrigate vegetables in the area, said the official.
Farmers will be provided canal water for irrigation and for their animals, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2013.