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Chandigarh: Punjab Environment Minister O.P. Soni has ordered the seizure of security deposit worth Rs 25 lakh of the Chaddha Sugar Mill of Kirri Afgana (Near Beas). He also ordered the sealing of the Mill, from where Sheera leakage into the Beas reportedly caused the death of fish and other aquatic creatures. The Minister constituted a probe committee and sought a report within three days and warned of strict action if the Mill Management is found guilty in the investigation report.

Earlier, during a meeting of the Environment Department at Punjab Bhawan, Mr Soni issued clear directives against those flouting the environment rules. He said action would be taken against those industries who were found throwing waste material into drains or rivers. “Action will also be taken against the officials concerned of the Municipal Corporations and the Municipal councils as well,” he added.

The Cabinet Minister said: “The government is not against the industries. In fact, we are promoting industries by giving power at low cost and other subsidies”.   Appreciating the efforts being made by the PPCB to control pollution in the state, he called for all-out efforts, especially by field officers at the level of environmental engineers, to ensure that pollution control devices are regularly operated by the industries and at the same time hassle-free service is provided to the industries.

He also directed that chronic defaulters of pollution should be penalized as per law. The Chairman of PPCB assured that the directives issued by the Minister would be strictly implemented.

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