A view of underground tank which is used to store molasses at the unit of Chadha Sugar Mill at village Kiri Afgana in Gurdaspur district.(HT Photo)
A view of underground tank which is used to store molasses at the unit of Chadha Sugar Mill at village Kiri Afgana in Gurdaspur district.(HT Photo)

All sugar mills, distilleries under govt scanner after Beas fish fatalities: Minister OP Soni

As per sources, the state has 16 sugar mills and 17 distilleries, all of which discharge effluents into nearby water sources.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON MAY 18, 2018 09:50 PM IST

State environment minister OP Soni on Friday asked the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) to check all sugar mills and distilleries in light of a fluid leak from a sugar mill in Gurdaspur into the Beas river on Wednesday night that killed hundreds of fish and other aquatic animals.

The state has 16 sugar mills and 17 distilleries, all of which discharge effluents into nearby water sources, said PPCB officials not willing to be named. “The mill in question is closest to a river,” noted an officer.

“The state government will not let these mills go wrong on the law and flout pollution norms, and also doesn’t want them to shut operations in state,” Soni said cautiously.

Dead fishes taken out from Beas river after molasses from a sugar factory leaked into the river on Thursday. (HT Photo)
Dead fishes taken out from Beas river after molasses from a sugar factory leaked into the river on Thursday. (HT Photo)

He was addressing a meeting with the principal secretary of the department, and the managing director and executive engineers of the PPCB. PPCB MD KS Pannu said all mills have been asked to take precautions so that there is no such incident in future.

Meanwhile, to dilute the effect of the fluid, the irrigation department released 2,000 cusecs of water from the Ranjit Sagar Dam into the Beas.

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