PPCB directs Chadha Sugar Mill to build wall along drain to stop spill
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PPCB directs Chadha Sugar Mill to build wall along drain to stop spill

Officials of board, wildlife dept and WWE experts visit spot where spill took place; say aquatic species have started coming back from upstream.

punjab Updated: Jun 10, 2018 11:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
PPCB,Chadha Sugar Mill,wall along drain
Chadha Sugar Mill in Gurdaspur district from which molasses spilled into the Beas recently. (HT File)

Nearly three weeks after fish were found dead in the Beas due to spill of molasses from Chadha Sugar Mill in Gurdaspur district, the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) on Saturday directed the owners to build a wall separating the mill and the Kahnuwan drain to stop any kind of flow into the river.

The drain merges into the river nearly 1 kilometre from the mill. PPCB chairman Kahan Singh Pannu along with officials of the board, forest and wildlife department and World Wide Fund (WWF) experts visited the mill at Kiri Afgana village to take stock of the river in terms of aquatic and wildlife rejuvenation. They also held a meeting at the spot.

Sharing the details of the visit, Pannu said though the wall will be built by the factory management, it will be designed by the public works department (buildings and roads).

“It was observed that aquatic species have started coming back to the affected areas from upstream but to augment the fish density in the river, it has been decided to take certain steps,” he said.

He said fish seedlings from the fishery department of more than 2 inches in size shall be procured to be released into the river. “On the experts’ advice, it was decided that only indigenous herbivorous and omnivorous fish species shall be released into the river under the supervision of wildlife experts,” he said.

“No carnivorous and exotic fish such as the common carps and malhi will to be released into the river at this stage as per the advice of the wildlife experts in a meeting. The irrigation department will be requested to release more water from the Pong dam into the Beas in coming days, so that more aquatic life from the mother source could flow to the affected parts of the river Beas,” the PPCB chairman said.

A comprehensive plan for the rejuvenation of the Beas Conservation Reserve is under preparation with the wildlife department.

The interim report of the plan shall be submitted to the board in the next seven days, so that rejuvenation measures could be started soon.

In the meeting, PPCB chief engineer GS Majithia, WWF expert Gitanjali Kanwar, Pathankot district forest officer Rajesh Kumar, PPCB assistant engineer Jasbinder Singh and range officers (wildlife department) of Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur and Amritsar were present.

First Published: Jun 10, 2018 11:29 IST