Punjab Human Rights Committee (PHRC) suspects political pressure behind no action being taken against the Bathinda Chemical Limited (BCL) distillery at Mashana village following allegations of dumping of effluents in the open.
The distillery was in the eye of a controversy since it came into existence last year for allegedly creating pollution. The fresh row started after villagers on March 10 accused the distillery of creating pollution, which was reported in HT.
Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) reacting to this conducted a raid on the distillery on March 11. However, it almost gave a clean chit to the unit.
HT highlighted another incident of the dumping of effluents in the open in its report, 'Effluent dumping: PPCB fails to identify culprits' published on March 25. This incident had no direct link with the BCL.
However, the PPCB “caught” the BCL tankers discharging effluents in a similar manner and registered a complaint with the police on April 2.
But the police have taken no action as they have been awaiting the reports of the samples collected by the PPCB.
Releasing a press statement here on Saturday, Ved Parkash Gupta, general secretary, PHRC, said, “The PPCB officials by visiting the site of dumping and taking samples of the effluent have enacted a drama simply to delay action against the distillery owners and befool the protesting farmers.”
Earlier, the committee had lodged a complaint with the director, vigilance bureau, on the basis of the report published in HT, against the alleged delay in taking action against the culprits.
Gupta said, “I doubt the PPCB will take action against the distillery owners as they are influential. The distillery owners have repeatedly violated the rules before also, but no action was taken. Even now, instead of taking action, the board officers have taken samples of effluents. Also, many other small units in residential areas are spreading pollution, but the board has failed to act. We intend to file a PIL in the high court.”