Bipin Bhardwaj, Tribune News Service
Mukerian (Hoshiarpur), December 2. Tightening a noose around those violating norms, a team of the Punjab Pollution Control Board raided the premises of a Mukerian-based sugar mill and found the unit allegedly discharging contaminated water into a drain that flows into the Beas.
Led by Environmental Engineer Jagdish Lal, the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) team swung into action after several environmentalists brought the matter to the notice of Senior Environmental Engineer (Jalandhar) SP Garg.
The PPCB team raided the premises of Indian Sucrose Limited and collected samples of the effluents being discharged into the drain.
Confirming the action, Garg said the samples had been sent for chemical examination. He said, “The factory was caught discharging untreated waste into the drain in violation of norms. The unit could face closure if the samples test positive.”
Indian Sucrose Limited, however, denied the allegations. Unit’s assistance general manager Anil Sharma claimed that the PPCB team did not visit the mill’s premises and instead collected the samples from outside.
“We have all arrangements in place on the premises to treat industrial waste. Why will we discharge waste water into a natural drain when we have the treatment facility?” he reasoned.
A former member of Mukerian Municipal Council, Gurwinder Singh, alleged that earlier the unit used to discharge polluted water into the drain at night. But when their illegal act went unnoticed for several years, they started releasing the untreated effluents even during the day, he alleged.
“Apart from causing water pollution, the pungent smell emanating from the effluents has made the life of those residing in colonies downstream the drain miserable,” claimed Sulakhan Singh, president of Punjab Rajput Sabha.