Congress government protecting sugar mill owners: Akali Dal
Chandigarh, May 19 (IANS) The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Saturday said that the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government in Punjab was protecting the owners of a sugar mill, who were close to the ruling dispensation, even after discharge from the mill had left thousands of fish dead and contaminated water in Beas river.
Condemning the massive damage to the environment and aquatic life due to criminal discharge of molasses into the Beas river by the mill owned by family of Congress supporter Paramjit Singh Sarna, SAD General Secretary and former Union Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa demanded a judicial probe into the entire incident.
Thousands of fish were found dead in the Beas river on Thursday following reported leakage of molasses from the sugar mill located in Kiri Afghana in Gurdaspur district.”The callous attitude of the mill owners has played havoc with the aquatic life in Punjab, leaving tonnes of fish dead as well as pushing some endangered species like Indus dolphins towards extinction. As the owner of the mill have links with the higher-ups in the ruling dispensation, Paramjit Singh Sarna’s company was constantly defying the rules prescribed for the industry as well as brazenly flouting the pollution control norms which led to this tragedy,” Dhindsa alleged.
“This is a grave offence. The owners are trying to use their clout to go scot-free. It is surprising that the government was yet to make any arrests in the case nor had it taken any stringent action against the sugar mill,” he added.
Punjab Environment Minister O.P. Soni had on Friday ordered sealing of the sugar mill and seizure of its security amount of Rs 25 lakh.
There are concerns that the river water downstream had got contaminated and could be a health hazard for people and aquatic life.