Central team to assess ecological damage from sugar mill discharge

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Chandigarh, May 22 (IANS) A central team will assess the ecological damage caused by discharge of effluents by a sugar mill in Beas river, whose owners are known for proximity to ruling Congress leadership in Punjab.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday said that the team — deputed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change — will make an on-the-spot visit to gauge the ecological disaster that killed fishes and other aquatic life in large numbers, besides polluting drinking water supply to the Malwa region.

“I am hopeful that this inquiry will pin down the owner family and lead to initiation of criminal proceedings against them, besides their arrest and punishment,” he said in a statement here.

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Badal had accused the mill owned by the family of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s religious adviser Paramjit Sarna of releasing industrial effluents into the Beas last week, leading to contamination of the river water and death of aquatic creatures.

Writting to the Union Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday, demanding criminal proceedings against owners/Directors of Chadha Sugar Mill and Distillery for discharge of effluents into the river, he also accused the state’s Congress government of trying to shield the mill owners.

“… the grave irony of the tragedy is that it has led to the contamination of sacred Kali Bein, associated with the life of first Sikh master, Guru Nanak Dev ji,” he had said.

–IANS

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