Taking a serious note of the discharge of untreated and semi-treated effluents directly into the sewer line, the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has closed down 51 electroplating, pickling units and units using phosphates in Ludhiana after finding these as major violators under various sections of the Water Act, 1974.
Disclosing the details about the step taken by Ludhiana's chief environmental engineer, Ravinder Singh, chairman of the board, said after reports of presence of heavy toxic metals in the sewer samples of Ludhiana, the board chalked out a special strategy to nab the culprits.
"Several teams headed by respective environment engineers conducted a surprise door to door visit at each industrial unit set up along the upstream of polluted sewer lines. The raid sessions continued for two days from January 9-10", Singh said.
Giving details, Singh said after thorough inspections of 156 electroplating, pickling and other industries, 99 such industries were found violating the provisions of Water Act, 1974.
"Out of these, 51 industries were found major violators and were punished on the spot by directing authorities of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited to disconnect the power connections of around 25 industries under Section 33-A of the Water Act, 1974", he said.
"However, the PPCB has decided to seal remaining 26 industries on the spot after found these as major violators of the act".
Singh added that defaulter units would be allowed to open their sealed units or restore power connection only after they set up proper water and effluent treatment plants in their units.
Meanwhile, he claimed that this was for the first time in the history of the board that such large number of industrial units had been shut down in one go.
"The matter is serious issue related to the health of people and we can't compromise on it at any cost. Such raids would be conducted in the future also and stricter action would be initiated against the defaulters", he said.