Chandigarh: Throwing norms to winds, a Mukerian-based sugar mill has been allegedly discharging its effluents into a seasonal drain, which flows to the Beas river, for the past couple of months.
The area residents allege that the mill management has been discharging it contaminated water during night hours thus spreading miseries to the farmers and the villagers residing along the drain.
The villagers claimed that foul smell being emitted out of the water discharged by the mill has been posing serious health hazards to them. The tubewells are drawing stinking water which not only has affected health of human and their milch cattle too, claimed Gurinder Singh, an Akali leader of the area.
He alleged that with the discharge of untreated water from the mill, farmers owning filed along the drain often lose their crops to the contaminated water.
“The green fodder gets toxic in the polluted water and after feeding on it health of their milch cattle often worsens,” alleged Rajinder Singh, a farmer.
The farmers say that the milk yield has gone down in the past. The contaminated water is endangering the flora and fauna of the area, they added.
Refuting the allegations, Sanjay Singh, Chief Cane Manager of the mill, claimed to have installed best quality effluent treatment plants (ETPs) in the Mill premises. “We do not allow to discharge even a single drop of mill water into the drain. Certain scrupulous persons are unnecessarily trying to tarnish out image for vested interests,” claimed Singh.
He also denied the allegation of damage to the crops and loss of human and cattle lives clarifying that certain local persons and farmers to pressurise the management for seeking favour in getting slips of their sugar cane for crushing are defaming the mill.
Sandeep Behal, Environmental Engineer of Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), denied having got any information in this regard.
He said that teams will be sent to college samples from the affected fields. Action will be taken against the mill as per the law if found guilty, he warned.
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