The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today condemned the massive damage to the environment and aquatic life due to criminal discharge of molasses into the Beas River by the family of Chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s Religious Advisor Paramjit Singh Sarna and demanded a judicial probe into the entire incident.In a statement here, the SAD secretary general and mp S. Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa said the callous attitude of the mill owners had played havoc with the aquatic life in Punjab, leaving tonnes of fish dead as well as pushing some endangered species like Indus dolphins towards extinction.“As the owner of the mill have links with the higher-ups in the ruling dispensation, Paramjit Singh Sarna’s company was constantly defying the rules prescribed for the industry as well as brazenly flouting the pollution control norms which led to this tragedy” he added.Giving details of incident, the SAD leader said that molasses was discharged from a giant storage tank of the Sugar Mill located at Kiri Afghana in Gurdaspur, into Kahnuwan drain which further leads to the Beas, causing massive damage to the aquatic life within hours. “This is a grave offence akin to a grave criminal act. He said what was worse was that the culprits, who were close to the ruling dispensation, were trying to use their clout to go scot free.
He said it was surprising that the government was yet to make any arrests in the case nor had it taken any stringent action against the sugar mill. Demanding a probe into this heinous incident, the SAD leader said that as the mill was owned by the family of the CM’s Religious Advisor, no action was being taken in the matter. “There is high probability that the accused could be let off by slapping of minor charges on them or rules could be bent to provide them an easy escape route. So we demand a thorough, time bound judicial inquiry against the accused who if found guilty must pay for the damage they have done to the environment” he added.Making a scathing attack on the congress government, for indulging in the protection of its minions who, in contrast, were proving a liability for the state’s environment, natural resources and its people, Mr Dhindsa said the Congress ministers, MLAs and leaders were hell bent upon making a quick buck from every business opportunity available in the state, showing least concern for the welfare of the state and its people. “Our environment, natural resources and the people are under a big threat until the CM does not rein in his rowdy elements” he added.