Alok Mishra

Gopalganj: Bihar State Pollution Control Board has stopped sugarcane crushing session of Sidhwaliya Sugar Mill in Gopalganj district. An FIR has been lodged with Sidhwaliya police station against eight persons including director and owner of the mill for polluting the water of river Ghoghari.

As per the FIR lodged by Anil Kumar, assistant environment engineer,State Pollution Control Council, the mill management had been dumping its garbage and chemicals without any treatment into river Ghoghari during its crushing session from November. The FIR mentions that the garbage and chemicals has reduced the oxygen level of the river killing the fishes and other water-borne creatures. The FIR  stated that the water of the river has become poisonous and animals have died after drinking it. Though water treatment plant exists in the mill, chemicals and other garbage were being dumped int the river.o

It may be mentioned here that Pollution Control Board officer Rajeshwar Singh and senior research fellow and sample collector Niraj Chaturvedi had earlier inspected the mill after receiving complaint against mill under Bihar Log Shikayat Nivaran Adhiniyam, 2015. During inspection, both the officials found that polluted water of the mill was being siphoned int the river through a cemented canal. It was also found that the water had become dangerous for drinking and was giving foul smell. On November 17, 2016, Board secretary Chandrashekhar and assistant engineer Anil Kumar also inspected the sugar mill and found that chemicals were being dumped into the river through a cemented canal.

The team members also met several villagers including Yogendra Rai, Abhishek Kumar and Rameshwar Rai (Sakla village), Ramesh Rana (Balsar village) and Chandan, Jairam and Nitesh (Gangawa village), who told the team members that river Ghoghari is the only source of water for several villages. The villagers said that fishes have died while several cattle have lost their lives after drinking water from the river. After that, the team decided to lodge a complaint against the mill management.

The FIR had been lodged against eight persons including top officials Chandrashekhar Nopani, Balkishore Malpani, Chandramohan, Rajiv Nayan Tripathi, Shashi Kediya, Om Prakash Singh, Rakesh Singh and Rakesh Gosain.

However, the mill officials including deputy president of Bharat Sugar Mill, Sidhwaliya Shashi Kedia claimed that they have followed all the norms set by the Pollution Control Board.  Kedia said that he had no idea why the Board officials put a ban on crushing session of the mill. “ We have put our side before the Board,” he said adding that the ban on crushing session would adversely affect the  sugarcane farmers.



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