Water around Zira ethanol plant unfit for drinking, reveals report : The Tribune India

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Water around Zira ethanol plant unfit for drinking, reveals report

PPCB asked to carry out environmental impact assessment

Water around Zira ethanol plant unfit for drinking, reveals report

Members of a fact-finding panel inspect a borewell at the plant. - File photo



Anirudh Gupta

Ferozepur, May 20

In its report submitted to the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has stated that none of the 29 water samples taken from in and around the Zira ethanol plant is fit for human consumption.

‘Book plant management’

The district administration and the Punjab Pollution Control Board intentionally delayed the matter. The CPCB report indicates that the soil was contaminated by sludge and waste. An FIR should be registered against the plant management at the earliest. Kapil Dev Arora, Member, Public Action Committee

Of these, 12 borewells were releasing water with unpleasant odour while another five had grey water. The total dissolved solids (TDS), boron and sulphate were also beyond the acceptable limits.

In February, a CPCB team, along with officials from the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), had visited the Zira ethanol plant and affected villages, including Mansurwala, Mahianwala Kalan and Ratol Rohi, to collect water samples.

According to the report, samples taken from two borewells inside the plant contained a huge amount of heavy metals, including arsenic (two-three times the permissible limit), chromium (six to seven times), iron (650-500 times), manganese (32-37 times), nickle (10-11 times) and lead (eight to 11 times).

The inspection teams also found that 10 borewells and six piezometers were installed inside the ethanol plant without obtaining permission from the CGWB or the Punjab Water Regulation and Development Authority (PWRDA).

The CPCB has recommended an investigation to establish the contaminated zone and take remedial action.

Kapil Dev Arora, member, Public Action Committee, alleged that the district administration and the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) had intentionally delayed the matter. He said the CPCB report indicated that soil was contaminated by sludge and waste. “An FIR should be registered against the plant management,” he said.

The CPCB has directed the PPCB to take remedial measures and carry out environmental impact assessment by engaging an agency having an expertise in contaminated groundwater and soil.

Gurmail Singh, sarpanch, Mansurwala village, said, “We have been saying that the plant is polluting the groundwater. This report has substantiated our claims.”

#Environment #Ferozepur #National Green Tribunal NGT #Pollution #Punjab Pollution Control Board PPCB #Zira Agitation


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