Amarinder talks tough on molasses leak in the Beas

first_imgPunjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday warned against any laxity in the probe into the leakage of molasses into the Beas river and directed the agencies concerned to pursue legal and penal action against the offenders.The Chief Minister sought a detailed report by May 24 from the environment department on the inquiry initiated into the incident. Several tonnes of molasses, a by-product of sugarcane processing, from a mill in Beas town leaked into the river, damaging aquatic life, polluting the river water and disturbing the canal-based water supply in the southern districts of Faridkot, Muktsar and Fazilka in Punjab. A large number of fish were found dead in the Beas on May 17.Formal hearingAn official release stated that the Punjab Pollution Control Board is scheduled to hold a formal hearing in the matter on May 24. Prosecution has already been initiated by the department of wildlife for the loss of aquatic life. The department of water resources has also initiated legal proceedings against the factory — Chadha Sugar Mill — under the Canal and Drainage Act.Notice issuedThe PPCB on Wednesday issued a notice to the mill seeking its reply on why action should not be initiated against it for the alleged violations detected by a probe committee.The committee, which submitted its report to the State government on Tuesday, found violations in the storage of molasses at the factory.“Notice has been issued to the Chadha Sugar Mill, Kiri Afghana in Gurdaspur to seek reply of its representatives on the findings of the probe committee,” a senior official said here.The mill belongs to Jasdeep Kaur Chadha, daughter of former Delhi Gurdwara Sikh Parbandhak Committee chief Harvinder Singh Sarna.The sugar mill representatives have been asked to appear before the PPCB authorities on Thursday, the official further said.Quality of water Reports of water samples collected by the PPCB from different places in the State suggest the quality of raw canal water had almost normalised. The departments of water supply, sanitation and local government, which are responsible for water supply to villages and towns in the affected districts, are, meanwhile, continuing with regular testing of water quality, said the statement.Contaminated water with dead fish and snakes from Punjab had also entered Rajasthan through Indira Gandhi Canal, affecting water supply to Hanumangarh, Sriganganagar, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and other districts.The water sourced from the Indira Gandhi Canal is still unfit for drinking despite a drop in contamination levels, officials said on Thursday.”The drinking water supply has been reduced from 50 MLD per day to 15 MLD in Sriganganagar city as we are not using the canal water for supply due to contamination,” said Vinod Jain, superintendent engineer (additional charge), Public Health and Engineering Department. He said the water is being supplied on alternate days.The situation was similar in Hanumangarh. Superintendent Engineer PHED (Hanumangarh) Amar Chand Gehlot said 5 MLD water was being supplied against the regular quota of 13 MLD.(With PTI inputs)last_img

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