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