Reacting to the HT report about the dumping of toxic industrial waste on roadside here, a local human rights organisation has asked the director of vigilance bureau, Punjab (DVBP), to look into the corruption angle in this case.
The organisation, Punjab human rights committee, has written to the Punjab pollution control board (PPCB) secretary, besides the DVBP. “We bring to your notice large-scale corruption in the state pollution control board,” reads the letter. “We demand inquiry into our complaint of corruption.” Photocopies of the newspaper report are tagged with the request.
The report “Polluting unit leaves trail of rule violation” (March 11) had highlighted that a tanker owned by the Bathinda Chemical Limited (BCL) distillery at Mashana village had leaked the effluent on the Dabwali-Bathinda road, reacting to which, a team from the pollution control board had visited the site the next morning.
The villagers of Mashana did not buy the board's argument that the effluent had leaked by mistake. HT reported the matter again (“Effluent being transported, agrees PPCB”, March 12).
“We request you to read the reports and see that the board team did not visit the actual site of the spill,” reads the letter from the rights organisation, forwarded on March 19. “It is a clear case of corruption by officials.”
On March 25, HT reported another incident of unscientific disposal of toxic effluent on the roadside (“Effluent dumping: PPCB fails to identify culprits”). “Some industrial units are committing heinous crime against humanity by dumping toxic effluent in the open,” reads the complainant's letter to the vigilance authorities. “The board has the duty to stop this malpractice but it has failed to. I have strong intuition that the board officials are involved in corruption; otherwise a polluting unit cannot be given so many lives,” wrote Ved Parkash Gupta, general secretary of the rights committee, in the signed letter.