Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking for urgent help in tackling the high pollution levels in state’s rivers.

The CM has sought expertise and the requisite funds from the Centre under the National River Conservation Programme or any other scheme to clean the rivers of the state. Disclosing this, an official spokesperson said clean water in the rivers is high on the state government’s Tandrust (healthy) Punjab agenda.

On the directive of the CM, the Punjab Water Resources Department has got into action spelling out the vast deteriorating river water situation in the state in a proposal, which will be submitted to the Union ministry of River Waters, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.

Punjab Water Resources Minister, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, said officials of the department were working on the proposal to stop discharge of inefficiently treated municipal waste and industrial effluents into the Sutlej and Beas rivers.

He further said the department would sensitise people to save water and use of treated waste water for the irrigation purposes.

The minister said in certain parts of the state ground water was not fit for human consumption and the residents had to use river and canal water for their daily needs.

Notably, there is a spurt in the increase in incidence of cancer and other chronic diseases in south-western part of the state, which could be attributed to the poor quality of water.

Expressing grave concern over discharge of untreated Municipal waste and industrial effluents into the rivers, Sarkaria said in such a situation nobody can be allowed to pollute the rivers and canals. “Throwing waste and untreated water into the rivers is not acceptable,” he added.