BREAKING: Three Chadha Sugar Mills closed, Rs 5 crore penalty & criminal cases against top officials: PPCB

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Three Chadha sugar mills closed

Notably, large number of fish were found dead in Beas on May 17 after molasses from the nearby sugar factory leaked into the river in Beas, which is 45 km from the Amritsar

The Hush Post: Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has directed closure of three sugar mills, and a penalty of Rs five crore (environmental compensation) has been imposed and criminal cases will be filed against the top officials of the Chadha group.

As per the PPCB, prosecution will take place against the mill and the responsible persons and it shall be filed in the competent court of law u/s 43 and 44 read with section 47 of the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 by environmental engineer of PPCB regional office Batala after proper verification.

The directive comes two days after Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) issued a notice to Chadha sugar mill in molasses leakage incident. It had sought a reply on why action should not be initiated against them for the alleged violations detected by the probe committee.

Notably, large number of fish were found dead in Beas on May 17 after molasses from the nearby sugar factory leaked into the river in Beas, which is 45 km from the Amritsar.

Earlier, notice was issued to the Chadha Sugar mill, Kiri Afghana in Gurdaspur to seek the reply of its representatives on the findings of the probe committee report which found violations.

The sugar mill representatives were asked to appear before the PPCB authorities for filing a reply.

A probe committee, which submitted its report to the Punjab government had found violation in the storage of molasses, a by-product during sugarcane processing.

The committee had a mandate to investigate and inquire the whys and how’s of this incident.

Following the spill, the state government had sealed the mill and seized its security deposit of Rs 25 lakh.

The mill could also face action for contaminating the canal-based water under the northern India Canal Draining Act. People were asked in Faridkot and surrounding districts not to use canal water which seemed contaminated because of the leakage and inlets of reservoirs were also closed.

Contaminated water with dead fish and snakes had entered Rajasthan through Indira Gandhi canal from Punjab, as a result of which the authorities asked people to stop drinking water supply from the canal.

The Indira Gandhi canal mainly provides water supply to Hanumangarh, Sriganganagar, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and other districts in Rajasthan.

The mill belonged to Jasdeep Kaur Chadha, who is a daughter of former Delhi Gurdwara Sikh Parbandhak Committee chief Harvinder Singh Sarna. Jasdeep’s late husband Hardeep Singh Chadha was liquor baron Ponty Chadha’s brother.

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