Ferozepur, February 22
A four-member special team from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) along with two officials from the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), under the Ministry of Jal Shakti, today visited Mansurwala village.
According to sources, the team was constituted to visit the plant after the matter was taken up by Jasbir Singh Gill, Member of Parliament from Khadoor Sahib, who had written to the CPCB on December 23, 2022 raising the issue regarding the pollution of the groundwater in the village allegedly due to the industrial effluents generated by the ethanol plant, as claimed by protesters who have been demanding that the plant be shut.
The members of the team include Dr Narinder Sharma (Additional Director, CPCB), Amit Kumar Sagar, Shubham and Suraj Guleria and CGWB members KG Bhartiya and Manish Shrivastva, Assistant Hydrogeologist. Sources said the team would collect the samples in and around the ethanol plant and send these to the CPCB head office in New Delhi.
Earlier, four teams constituted by the state government — Health Analysis Committee, Soil Inspection Committee and Animal Husbandry Committee — had collected samples from various places and had submitted their reports to the district administration, which further sent it to PPCB for a detailed analysis. The fourth report of the water contamination committee has not been made public yet.
On January 17, the Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had announced the closure of the plant through a video uploaded on his Twitter account. However, the protesters had refused to lift the dharna and had asked for written orders of the CM, which are yet to be issued.
When contacted, MP Jasbir Gill said he had met and taken up the issue with the CPCB Chairman. “This matter is not only related to this area, it is concerned with the air we inhale and water we consume,” he said.
Rajesh Dhiman, Deputy Commissioner, said these teams would work independently of any state government agency. “The administration has provided them all the support so that their work is not affected,” said the DC.
It is worth mentioning that the matter regarding the alleged contamination of groundwater caused by the plant is subjudice in both, the NGT and the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The next hearing of the NGT will be take place on February 23, while the hearing in the High Court is scheduled for February 28.
Meanwhile, members of the “Sanjha Morcha” met the DC and handed over a memorandum to him. The protesters again demanded that the written orders regarding the permanent closure of the plant and cancellation of the FIRs registered against the protesters should be issued.
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