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Soni seeks report from PPCB on Rana Sugar Mill

Khaira, along with his supporters, tried to approach the drain outside the Rana Sugar Mill to expose the alleged release of polluted water from it, which the company has been refuting

punjab Updated: May 30, 2018 15:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Aam Aadmi Party,Sukhpal Singh Khaira,Rana Sugar Mill
Punjab environment minister OP Soni with officials during his visit to a distillery of the Bhagat Industrial Corporation Limited, Khasa, near Amritsar on Tuesday. (HT Photo)

Days after local people and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira alleged that the Rana Sugar Mill is releasing polluted water into the village’s drain, leading to the spread of diseases in the area, environment minister OP Soni said on Tuesday that he has asked officials of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) to submit a report on the situation.

Khaira, along with his supporters, tried to approach the drain outside the Rana Sugar Mill to expose the alleged release of polluted water from it, which the company has been refuting. Situated at Buttar Sivia village , 52 km from here, the company is owned by the family of former Congress minister and Kapurthala MLA Rana Gurjit Singh.

Replying to a media query in this regard after inspecting Bhagat Industrial Corporation Limited, Khasa, here, the minister said he has asked an official of the chief engineer rank to prepare a report in reference to the allegations levelled by the opposition leader, and present it to the board soon.

The issue of pollution being created by industrial units after a large number of fish and other aquatic animals were found dead in the Beas river on May 17 due to the discharge of molasses from Gurdaspur-based Chadha Sugar Mill. Besides imposing a fine of Rs 5 crore on the mill and ordering a criminal case against it, the state government has also suspended an executive engineer and a sub-divisional officer of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB).

Minister visits distillery in Amritsar

Amid the demands being raised by the people to check pollution being created by the industrial units in Punjab, Soni, along with a team of PPCB officials, on Tuesday conducted a surprise inspection at a distillery of the Bhagat Industrial Corporation Limited, and checked various departments of the factory.

However, the minister was informed that the factory has shut its distillation unit and boilers for long, only the bottling unit and recycling unit are working. The effluent treatment plant (ETP) was found to be working satisfactorily, but a sample of the treated water was taken by the expert team of the PPCB for testing. The minister also observed the bottling and other operations along with the quality of the packaging material.

First Published: May 30, 2018 15:21 IST