Punjab: Large number of fish found dead in Beas river due to release of sugar mill fluid

The incident happened after a molasses from a sugar factory leaked into the river.
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)
Updated on May 17, 2018 11:25 PM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times, Amritsar | By

Countless fish and other aquatic animals were found dead in Beas river on Thursday due to water contamination reportedly caused by release of a chemical fluid from a sugar mill situated on the shore of the river.

The fluid came from ‘Chadha Sugar Industries Private Limited’ that is located at Kiri Afgana village near Sri Hargobindpur in Gurdaspur district. However, the administration claimed that it was an accidental release of the fluid.

The people who live or work along the river noticed that the colour of the river water turned dark red in the morning and dead fish floated on it, especially in Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Kapurthala districts. Hundreds of dead fish were found on the bank of the river.

Amritsar deputy commissioner Kamaldeep Singh Sangha, who rushed to the river bank along with forest and wildlife department officials, said, “There was a blast in the boiler of sugar mill when they were preparing molasses in it. It resulted into leakage of fluid into the river water. The fluid led to increase of biological oxygen demand (BOD) in the water, resulting into fall of oxygen content. This caused the death of fish and other water animals.”

Molasses or black treacle is a viscous product resulting from refining sugarcane into sugar.

The DC said measures are being taken to prevent further death of fish. The experts collected water samples for examination.

Minister OP Soni visits river bank

Meanwhile, education and environment minister OP Soni ordered an inquiry into the matter. The minister, who visited the bank of the river at Beas town along with Amritsar MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla, also ordered that the sugar mill operation be shut immediately.

Soni said teams from the wildlife department and pollution control board were called and till now they have found no other toxins in water.

Deputy commissioners of the affected districts appealed to people to shun bathing, eating fish and giving river water to cattle for drinking till the water is not cleaned.

Meanwhile, noted environmental activist Balbir Singh Seechewal said release of any chemical fluid into the river water is violation of the Water Act, 1974, and chemical substances put the animal life on high risk. He said the death of fishes in Beas river is a big disaster and chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh should intervene into the matter to ensure strict action against the guilty.


    Surjit Singh is a correspondent. He covers politics and agriculture, besides religious affairs and Indo-Pak border in Amritsar and Tarn Taran.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • HT Image

    Student alleges molestation by Tripura MLA in Delhi

    A student of a Delhi college, temporarily residing in Tripura Bhawan was allegedly molested by former Tripura tribal welfare minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia on Tuesday night, police said, adding they have registered a case against him. Deputy commissioner of police (New Delhi) Amrutha Guguloth said the police received a complaint of molestation at Tripura Bhawan on Tuesday night. Jamatia could not be reached for a comment despite repeated attempts.

  • HT Image

    Delhi Police hunt for man who smuggled abroad at least 500 stolen cellphones

    The Delhi Police is on the lookout for a resident of Old Delhi, who is believed to be one of the biggest smugglers of stolen phones to countries outside India. Senior police officers identified Kashim by his first name, Kashim, and said he was a resident of Sadar Bazar. KPS Malhotra, deputy commissioner of police (cyber cell), said the stolen phones were sent via courier mail to Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Gulf countries.

  • HT Image

    Video shows man harassing minor girl, police register case

    Days after a video of a man abusing and threatening a minor girl over her religion went viral on social media, the special cell of Delhi Police has registered a case in the matter. Delhi Commission for Women said it had taken suo-motu cognizance of the viral video, after which the commission's chief Swati Maliwal sent a notice to Delhi Police on June 26 seeking urgent action in the matter. The girl appears scared.

  • HT Image

    Gujarat BJP delegation wraps up inspection of Delhi school, hospitals

    A 17-member delegation from the Gujarat unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which was in the national capital to “expose the reality” of the Aam Aadmi Party's Delhi model of governance, concluded their inspection of Delhi government schools and hospitals on Wednesday, even as chief minister Arvind Kejriwal expressed a hope that they would take lessons from Delhi to improve the educational and health-care systems in their state.

  • HT Image

    Yamuna water level lowest since 1965, most areas to face crisis

    New Delhi: The water level in Yamuna on Wednesday was measured at 666.80 feet – the lowest since 1965 – the Delhi Jal Board said, warning water supply will remain hit across several areas in north, west, central, south Delhi as well as locations in New Delhi and the Delhi Cantonment. Delhi has been facing a water shortage for nearly two months now, with the problem first surfacing in April.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, June 30, 2022