Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Chandigarh, January 17
Giving in to a six-month-long protest by locals, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Tuesday ordered the closure of a distillery and ethanol plant at Manurwala village in Zira subdivision of Ferozepur district.
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, Marlbros International Pvt Ltd, is spread over 48 acres and owned by former Akali Dal MLA Deep Malhotra.
ਪੰਜਾਬ ਦੀ ਆਬੋ-ਹਵਾ ਨੂੰ ਕਿਸੇ ਨੂੰ ਵੀ ਖਰਾਬ ਨਹੀਂ ਕਰਨ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਜਾਵੇਗਾ...ਇਸ ਕਰਕੇ ਕਾਨੂੰਨੀ ਮਾਹਿਰਾਂ ਨਾਲ ਸਲਾਹ ਕਰਨ ਤੋਂ ਬਾਅਦ ਲੋਕਹਿੱਤ 'ਚ ਇੱਕ ਵੱਡਾ ਫੈਸਲਾ ਲਿਆ ਹੈ...— Bhagwant Mann (@BhagwantMann) January 17, 2023
ਮੈਂ ਜ਼ੀਰਾ ਸ਼ਰਾਬ ਫੈਕਟਰੀ ਨੂੰ ਬੰਦ ਕਰਨ ਦੇ ਹੁਕਮ ਜਾਰੀ ਕਰ ਦਿੱਤੇ ਨੇ ਤੇ ਭਵਿੱਖ 'ਚ ਵੀ ਜੇ ਕੋਈ ਵਾਤਾਵਰਣ ਵਿਗਾੜਨ ਦੀ ਕੋਸ਼ਿਸ਼ ਕਰੇਗਾ, ਬਖਸ਼ਿਆ ਨਹੀਂ ਜਾਵੇਗਾ.. pic.twitter.com/0ZYruxvYcu
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.
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