Hudiara Drain – A Case of Trans-boundary Water Pollution
As an average Lahori consumer, the piles of outsize vegetables in the local market look appealing and fresh, especially when given an occasional sprinkle of water. But there is just more than something we need to know. No need to be happy. These vegetables are watered by the Hudiara drain .
About 30 years ago, the Hudiara was a stormwater drain used for irrigation and to drain water into the Ravi. Hudiara Drain, originates from Indian Punjab and run along with the border; enters Pakistan, pass along the eastern superbs of Lahore (Rai-Wind) and ends up in Ravi. This drain alone is center of attention for many enviormental protection agencies in PK & IN due to proven high levels of toxic in it.
WWF, UNDP launched a project to study the level of toxic in the drain. This project ended up in late 2006 with shocking results which states:
1. This drain is a wastewater carrier, that does not even meet National Enviornmental Quality Standards (NEQS) devised for the industrial effulants.
2. Based on certain parameters for eg. TDS (Total Dissolved Solids), Cd (Cadmium), Cu (Copper) and Mn (Manganese) concentrations in drain water. Its water may be discouraged for irrigation in longer-term use, becaure of its contamination.
3. Threat to water quality and adequite life of the River Ravi can be significant particularly during the times of low flow.
4. Almost all pollutants extent in the drain water may be similar both in Pakistan and India.
In a recent development, CM Punjab Pervez Elahi while charing a meeting ordered to close down the 100 water pumps installed in Hudiara Drain to save the crops & animals from contamination. Help from Lahore’s local administration, town nazims & local politicians has been asked for on an urgent basis due to nature of this issue.
WWF Pakistan has been actively persuing this whole project, i personal believe in moto and efforts of WWF, they do make some difference to some extent. To maximize these efforts, we all can help WWF by simple means which can be in the form of donation, buying from Panda Shop or getting a decent membership.
More information can be found at:
WWF Pakistan – How to Become a member
A Satellite Imagery of Hudiara Drain, Dropping into Ravi: