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Posted at: Jun 13, 2018, 1:00 AM; last updated: Jun 13, 2018, 1:00 AM (IST)

Minister puts industry on notice

Soni tells them to set up effluent treatment plants in 2 months or face closure
Minister puts industry on notice
Environment Minister OP Soni (centre) during his visit to Buddha Nullah near the Chand cinema on Tuesday. Photo: Ashwani Dhiman

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 12

Environment Minister OP Soni has warned industrialists of polluting Buddha Nullah. He has said industrialists are being given two months and within this time period, they should build effluent treatment plants to check release of industrial waste into the nullah or other water bodies.

When asked repeatedly what action the government would take against erring industrialists, the minister said their units would be sealed.

This was the minister's maiden visit to the industrial city after taking charge of the ministry.

Soni had a meeting with industrialists, most of them heads of dyeing units, at the Circuit House. Dyeing units are mostly blamed for pollution in the nullah as well as air. Before the meeting, the minister was, in fact, 'honoured' by the associations during his maiden visit to the city.

Meanwhile, the Environment Minister paid a brief visit to the nullah, where he repeated that after the two-month deadline, violating units would face closure. When asked why the two-month time was given to industries, which have been polluting water and air of the city for years, he said it had only been a month and a half since he became the minister.

‘Industry nal sarkaran chaldiyan’

Environment Minister OP Soni raised eyebrows during his visit to the Buddha Nullah when he said the government ran because of industry. He said the CM and the government didn’t want industry to be closed in the state. “Industry naal hi sarkaran chaldiyan (governments run because of industry) but the industry should also fulfil its responsibility and stop pollution,” he said. “What is the point of minister’s visit here if he didn’t drive along the nullah to realise the gravity of the situation,” Amandeep Singh, a resident of Salem Tabri, said.

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