Chandigarh, May 20 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh today ordered testing and monitoring of canal-based drinking water supply in the southern parts of the state to prevent the spread of contamination triggered by the spill of molasses into the Beas river. Also Read - 355th Prakash Purab of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Today | Know All About The 10th Guru of Sikhs, His Teachings Here

The chief minister issued directions to the Punjab Pollution Control Board and other departments concerned to undertake detailed testing of the water supplied to towns and villages in southern Punjab. Also Read - Mirzapur Live: Robber Shot Dead in Police Encounter at Marriage Hall in Punjab's Tarn Taran, 4 Nabbed

He has asked the departments to constitute special teams for water quality testing and to take necessary steps to prevent drinking water contamination, said an official spokesperson. Also Read - Public, Private Universities in Punjab to Reopen From Jan 21, Govt Issues SOPs | Details Here

The chief minister also directed the deputy commissioners of the districts concerned to closely monitor the water supply in towns and villages.

The deputy commissioners have been asked to coordinate with the water resources department to ensure cleaning of the water channels in their jurisdictions, the spokesperson said.

The pollution control board had directed the departments of water supply and sanitation and local government to close the inlet points for their water supply schemes to prevent contaminated water from upstream Beas from flowing in.

Though the release of additional fresh water into the river had led to a significant improvement in the situation, the government was taking no chances, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the water works in the districts of Faridkot, Fazilka, Muktsar, and Ferozepur had “adequate storage to tide over this temporary problem”.

The agencies concerned have been asked to carry out regular water testing for quality in their respective water supply schemes for the next one week as a precautionary measure.

Supply of clean and clear water in the canals downstream of Harike was likely to be restored within the next 24 hours, said the spokesperson.

A large number of fish were found dead in the Beas on May 17 after molasses from a sugar factory leaked into the river in Punjab’s Beas town, about 40 km from Amritsar.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.