Facing flak for not taking appropriate measures to prevent contamination of ground water caused by its distillery division, the management of AB Sugar Mills, Randhawa, on Thursday claimed that all short-term measures, as suggested by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) had been completed.
Addressing a media conference, addressed bt vice-president Surinder Malik, general manager (production) Alok Pardhan and manager Desh Raj, the company claimed that the multi-effect evaporator (MEE), boiler and RO plants were ready for commission.
Malik said that the PPCB had sealed the mill in July last but in October, it issued amended directions under Section 33-A of Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act and allowed the mill to run at half the capacity till January 31, 2013. This opearation was stopped by the management on December 18, 2012, to start modification of the and the MME. He said that report on both the equipment had been sent to the PPCB, who would take the final call.
Claiming that the distillery's consultant has stated that the water was 'slightly' contaminated in a 500-metre radius, he said that the mill had started implementation of an action plan, which involved withdrawal of contaminated water from two strategic locations and its oxidation followed by its recharging to the groundwater. He added that rain water harvesting system and artificial recharge system were already in place in the mill premises.
Mill manager Desh Raj said that that a reply had been filed in response to the notice issued by the Dasuya sub-divisional magistrate under Section 133 of the Criminal Procedure Code.