Almost a month after raids at various industrial units to check flouting of norms, the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has decided to seal six of them for committing severe violation of the environmental norms.
On June 26, various teams of the PPCB, even from Patiala, raided different industrial units in the city and found that 70 of them were involved in violation of environmental norms. Six electroplating units among these had “severe” violations.
The PPCB has decided that these units will be sealed next week.
PPCB chief environmental engineer Gulshan Rai said after deliberations, the department had decided to seal six units out of the total 70 that were dumping their effluents into Buddha Nullah and other areas.
These six units are located in different areas, including Focal Point and Dashmesh Nagar. However, rest of the units will not face severe action as the nature of their violations did not invite heavy penalty.
“Rest of the units have been issued advisories and they should immediately correct their violations. Strict action can be taken against them also in case they fail to correct themselves,” said Rai.
“The PPCB is expected to seal six electroplating units during early next week,” added Rai.
In case of violations of environmental laws found in smallscale industry, the chief environmental engineer could take action; but in case of big units, permission has to be sought from the PPCB chairman. The six units would be sealed on the orders of Rai who had already given a go ahead in this regard.
Sources said after the Rajasthan government shot off a letter to the Punjab government regarding pollution in the water of the Sutlej river owing to mixing up of Buddha Nullah in it, the state government ordered the PPCB to inflict severe penalties on units polluting the stream. Buddha Nullah finally merges with the Sutlej whose water is collected in Harike Lake, which is used for irrigation purpose in the region of south Punjab and Rajasthan.
Heavy metals and other pollutants dumped by Ludhiana industrial units in the water are thought to be the cause of increasing cancer in these areas.