Ferozepur, October 1
The National Green Tribunal (NGT), while taking cognisance of the reports submitted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) on alleged contamination of groundwater by ethanol plant and distillery run by Malbros International Pvt Ltd at Mansurwala village in Zira, has directed the state government to ensure safe drinking water to affected villages.
As per reports, the groundwater in various villages, including Mansoorwal, Mahianwala Kalan and Ratol Rohi, around the plant was found to have a high concentration of metals and toxic elements.
Kapil Arora, member, Public Action Committee (PAC), who had filed the petition against the plant with the NGT, said that the latter had taken serious view of the report and expanded the scope of investigation by ordering the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) to inspect all distilleries in Punjab for groundwater contamination and submit a report on its quality in surrounding areas.
Kapil said the NGT also took note of the alleged illegalities at the Zira plant as reported by the CPCB team.
Earlier, the CPCB report had stated that water from none of the 29 borewells monitored by its teams was found within the permissible limits on one or more parameters. The NGT also took note of the presence of cyanide in the borewell located at Ratol Rohl village, while two borewells at the unit premises revealed presence of toxic metals. Water of these two was black in colour and emanated foul smell.
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