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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014

Effluent dumping: PPCB fails to identify culprit

Kamaldeep Singh Brar, Hindustan Times   Bathinda, March 24, 2013
First Published: 23:17 IST(24/3/2013) | Last Updated: 23:18 IST(24/3/2013)

Nobody knows who is dumping industrial waste on the roadsides.

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Two weeks after the tanker of a distillery situated on Bathinda-Dhabwali road 'mistakenly' released the effluent along the road, a team of Punjab Pollution Control Board (CB) has found effluent dumped in large quantity on the premises of a defunct soft drinks factory on the same road.

It was on Saturday late evening that a team of PPCB visited the Associated Drinks Private Limited premises situated on Bathinda-Dhabwali road, around 1 km from Punjab Technical University Giani Zail Singh campus.

It was clear from the stink that effluent had been dumped there the same evening. According to sources, the PPCB team had the information that a tanker was dumping waste at the factory. However, the team failed to identify the tanker.

When this correspondent reached the site, the PPCB left the spot without clarifying the purpose of their visit. A farmer, who was a witness to what was going on, said, "First I saw a tanker releasing some liquid here. Soon after it left, some people reached the spot, which I later came to know were PPCB people. This place always stink like this."

This correspondent again visited the site in the morning and found that place was still badly stinking and gave impression that the site was being used for dumping effluent for a long time.

It is interesting that earlier the residents of Mashana had alleged that a distillery was dumping effluent in their village in a similar manner. However, PPCB team instead bought the claim of the distillery that it was transporting effluent in tankers outside the district to make cattle feed.

When PPCB officials were contacted, no one was ready to come on record. PPCB XEN declined to make any comment on what steps the department was taking to check this illegal practice.

"It is not for the first time that industrial waste has been found dumped in this manner. PPCB must act otherwise all industrial units will adopt this method. It is a conspiracy against the people and PPCB is not doing its duty to stop this malpractice. PPCB must understand that such activities are serious crime in cancer-ridden Malwa region," said Pritpal Singh, spokesman for Association for Democratic Rights.

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