Villagers say Patanjali unit polluting water bodies in Haridwar
Villagers in Haridwar district alleged that a unit of yoga guru Ramdev’s Patanjali firm was polluting Ban Ganga rivulet and a few other rain-fed water bodies.
Villagers from the Lakshar area, where Padartha herbal and food park -- a unit of Rs 10,000-crore Patanjali -- is located, have lodged a complaint about the water pollution.
Rajbeer Chauhan, a social activist, showed on Tuesday contaminated water in a bottle to reporters. He said several animals died in the last few years as effluents released from Padartha polluted the rivulet and water bodies.
“Local villagers who depended on the water bodies to get potable water are now forced to rely on hand pumps. The contamination in the water bodies is caused by effluents and chemicals released by the Padartha factory. We have met Padartha officials and local administration but to no anvil,” said Chauhan.
Sanjay Pal, a villager from Khanjarpur, alleged, “Local administration and pollution control authorities have not done anything owing to political clout and status of Swami Ramdev.” He said locals from 40 villages, including Padartha, Lakshar, Durga Gad, Gobind Gad, Shiv Gad, Chanchar and Lakshar belt, have decided to start an agitation from next month.
The villagers and activists claimed that they have written to the PMO, chief minister’s office, ministry of Ganga rejuvenation, Uttarakhand Environment and Pollution Control Board and Padartha food park, complaining about pollution.
Reacting to the allegations, PK Joshi, regional officer of the Uttarakhand Environment Conservation and Pollution Control Board, said he has given directives to clean the Begum nullah passing through the area.
“We have issued directives to the company to not discharge effluents or waste in any of the drains,” he said. The board had earlier served a notice to Padartha over release of untreated industrial effluents into water bodies.
Patanjali general manager Ravindra Chaudhary denied the allegations. “We have a treatment plant and we also follow protocols prescribed for safeguarding environment,” he said.