Punjab Govt seeks technical knowhow to clean water bodies

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Chandigarh, Feb 18 (UNI) In a significant move to ensure clean and pollution free environment, the Punjab Government today sought technical support and knowhow to clean water bodies in the state.

The move comes in the wake of a high level meeting, chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, with the delegation of Vetiver Network International led by its Chairman Richard Grimshaw here.

The Government sought technical knowhow through 'Earthizens', an NGO, committed to create awareness about the balanced eco system and the cleaning of water bodies.

Taking part in deliberations, Mr Badal asked the Secretary, Environment, Science and Technology to launch a pilot project for the plantation of vetiver grass on an experimental basis over 2 acres of water logged land in Malwa belt, 1 KM stretch alongwith Buddha Nullah in Ludhiana and set up 4 to 5 water ponds in the state.

He also asked the Forest department to grant permission for its plantation in the state after consulting experts of Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana.

He said that if this experiment proved successful it could be replicated in other parts of the state to check the menace of river pollution caused by industrial effluents and soil erosion besides using this technique for bio-engineering for stabilization and protection of roads, rail tracks, building sites and bridges.

Earlier, Mr Grimshaw informed the Chief Minister that the use of vetiver grass had been found successful world over to control the problems related to agriculture, energy, fuel, water and contaminated water treatment, soil erosion and disaster management.

He said that the vetiver international through its proven technology had successfully implemented its projects in Thailand, China, Vietnam, Australia, Kuwait, South Africa, Central America and the United States.

The vetiver international has now commenced its operations in India and launched its project in Kerala, Goa and some other southern states.

Mr Grimshaw urged the Chief Minister to send a team of officers to visit these states to have first hand information about the concept and technical viability of the project.

Dr Paul Truong, Director of Vetiver International, gave a presentation on the plantation of vetiver grass. He said that it could reclaim soils and increase productivity in places that had become unproductive previously.

Apart from this, the vetiver grass could tolerate high levels of toxic metals viz. aluminum, manganese, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, nickel, copper, lead, mercury and zinc.

Prominent among others who were present in the meeting were Forest and Medical Research Minister Tikshan Sud.

UNI VKJ LS KN1437

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