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Issue 28
August , 2010
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Industrial group units pump polluted water into stream

Shariq Majeed
Source: The Tribune, Date: August , 2010

Should industrialisation be at the cost of environment? In the Dhaula area of Barnala, where the Trident group has factories, it seems the industrialists don’t care for environment and have an eye only on making money. The various units of the group are directly pumping polluted water, without taking measures to check water pollution, from the factories into a stream, leading to its severe pollution.

Local sources said various industrial units of the Trident group, making towel, paper and yarn, were pumping thousands of litres of polluted water round the clock into the seasonal stream which is the only stream passing through Dhaula, Handiya, Fatehgarh Dhanna, Tajooke and Sekre village. They added that such was the level of pollution in the seasonal stream that people had started calling it ‘ganda’ nullah.

The sources further added that even as industries could employ various measures to check water pollution, in the case of the Trident group, the industrialists had failed to take such measures. They added that since the group had failed to check pollution in the seasonal stream, it had badly affected the local flora and fauna.

Says a local on condition of anonymity, “The industrialist is a big wig and has good political connections in the ruling party as well as the opposition. No one can touch him even as you write reams on this issue.” “We, on many occasions, have complained to the pollution control board authorities but they don’t seem to care. Our cattle are dying and our children are frequently having skin diseases.”

A senior officer in the Trident group claimed that the group was complying with the statutory norms of the relevant Act and had a mechanism in place to check any sort of pollution.

An officer of the Punjab Pollution Control Board, asking not to be named, told The Tribune that on many occasions they had collected the water samples from the stream and had found nothing wrong with these. “We normally cannot impose penalties in cases where water pollution is confirmed under the Water Pollution Act 1974, instead we can take legal action if an industrial unit is found polluting water. In case of the Trident group, we didn’t find any pollution from the water samples (from the stream).”

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