NGT Mandates Clean Drinking Water: Orders Zira Liquor Factory to Address Groundwater Pollution

Rozana Spokesman

News, Punjab

Groundwater in nearby villages has been found to be contaminated with high concentrations of metals &  toxic elements


ZIRA: In response to concerns raised by the Lok Action Committee v. State of Punjab, the NGT has taken decisive action by instructing Malbros Distillery and Ethanol Plant, situated in Mansoorwal Kalan and Zira village, to ensure clean drinking water for the affected villages. The groundwater in nearby villages, including Mansoorwal, Mahianwala Kalan, and Ratol Rohi, has been found to be contaminated with high concentrations of metals and toxic elements.

Petitioners Er. Kapil Arora and Jaskirat Singh of PAC Mattewara highlighted the significance of the NGT's actions, emphasizing that the directive extends beyond addressing one distillery. The NGT has further called for an investigation into the groundwater quality around all distilleries in Punjab and their respective areas, aiming to combat contamination effectively.

The NGT's intervention was prompted by reports of industry irregularities presented by the Jal Board, indicating violations verified by the Pollution Control Board team during physical inspections of bore-wells and piezometers in the industrial corridor. Shockingly, none of the 29 bore-wells examined met acceptable limits for essential parameters, rendering the water unfit for consumption.

Additionally, the NGT flagged the presence of cyanide exceeding acceptable levels in a Ratol Rohal borewell, along with dangerously high concentrations of metals such as arsenic, chromium, copper, iron, manganese, nickel, and lead in other borewells within the industrial corridor. The water in these borewells exhibited an alarming appearance, being black in color and emitting a foul odor.

The concentrations of arsenic, chromium, iron, manganese, nickel, and lead were found to exceed permissible limits significantly, raising serious concerns about the impact of industrial activities on the groundwater quality in the region. The NGT's action seeks to address this critical issue and uphold the right to clean drinking water for the affected villages.