Chandigarh: Taking a serious note of the news “Mill discharges contaminated water” published in these columns on Tuesday, a team of officials of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) conducted a surprise visit to a Mukerian based Sugar Mill and collected samples of effluents allegedly being discharged by the unit in a season drain. The drain joins the Beas river.
Led by environment engineer Sukhwant Singh, a 3-member team of the PPCB visited the mill premises and collected three samples from waste water. The team also collected two samples of water, discharged by the mill, from the season drain crossing along the boundary wall of the unit.
The team members also recorded statements of affected villagers and farmers including Gurjinder Singh, local SAD leader, Sikand Masih and Laddi, who had been complaining of industrial pollution since long.
The team also took a round of the unit premises to take a stock of the situation.
Environmental Engineer, Sukhwant Singh informed during the visit they found that the ‘outlets’ plugged by dumping loose soil inside the mill premises. “The polluted water accumulated in the seasonal drain also was two-three days old,” he claimed.
He also claimed to have informed Superintending Engineer of the PPCB Sandeep Behl about the sampling and the finding at the spot.
Behl, however, said that after testing the samples for various contaminations and their effects. Stringent action will be taken against the unit if found violating the norms.
The area residents had alleged 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 claim 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.
The famers allege that green fodder gets toxic in the polluted water and after feeding on it health of their milch cattle often worsens
Sanjay Singh, Chief Cane Manager of the mill, however had denied the allegations claiming to have installed best quality effluent treatment plants (ETPs) in the Mill premises. “Certain scrupulous persons are unnecessarily trying to tarnish our image for vested interests,” he had claimed, while talking to this correspondent.
For more news updates Follow and Like us on Facebook