Zira: Amid months-long stir by locals, Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann orders liquor unit closure : The Tribune India

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Zira: Amid months-long stir by locals, Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann orders liquor unit closure

Zira: Amid months-long stir by locals, Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann orders liquor unit closure

Jubilant protesters near the dharna site at Mansurwala village in Ferozepur on Tuesday. Tribune photo



Tribune News Service

Sanjeev Singh Bariana

Chandigarh, January 17

Giving in to a six-month-long protest by locals, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann today ordered the closure of a distillery and ethanol plant at Mansurwala village in Zira subdivision of Ferozepur.

The villagers with the support of farm unions have been protesting against the unit since July 24, accusing it of causing air and water pollution in the area. The controversial unit, Malbros International Pvt Ltd, is spread over 48 acres and owned by former Akali Dal MLA Deep Malhotra. CM Mann said, “Keeping in mind the public interest and the issue of air and water pollution, I have, after detailed discussions with legal experts, ordered the shutting down of the factory immediately.”

“It doesn’t matter how influential the person is because of his political affiliation. No one tampering with the law and harming environment will be spared,” he said.

The liquor factory had run into controversy after villagers alleged contamination of drinking water due to the release of effluents by it. They alleged inhabitants of villages in the vicinity had been falling sick and a high livestock deaths were being reported.

Experts had underlined the need for testing ethanol penetration into the soil even as the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) had given a clean chit to the factory.

Gurmail Singh, Mansurwala sarpanch, said, “We are relieved that the CM has paid heed to our concerns.” Roman Brar, an active Sanjha Morcha member, said they had been protesting under adverse circumstances for the past nearly six months, but were satisfied that their voice had been heard.

In July last year, the AAP government had scrapped a textile park at Mattewara in Ludhiana following widespread protests over the move to set up the project in a forest area.

Owned by former Akali legislator

  • Controversial unit Malbros International Pvt Ltd owned by SAD ex-MLA Deep Malhotra
  • Villagers and farmers protesting since July 24 last year, accusing unit of polluting air, water
  • They allege inhabitants of villages in factory’s vicinity falling sick, their livestock dying

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#bhagwant mann #Ferozepur #Zira Agitation


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