With farmers protesting against pollution allegedly caused by an alcohol-making unit located at Mansurwal village in Zira (Ferozepur), Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Tuesday announced scrapping of the Marlboro liquor manufacturing project with immediate effect for preserving the environment of the state.
Announcing the scrapping of this project, the CM asserted that no one, however affluent he might be, will be allowed to take the environmental norms for granted. Whoever flouts the stipulated norms framed by the state government will be dealt with sternly.
He said the decision has been taken after due deliberations with environmental experts and legal luminaries. Keeping in view the castigating effects of this project on the environment and ecology of the state, the project has been shelved.
He further said that the project could have disturbed the ecological balance of the area.
Mann reiterated the firm commitment of the state government to check the environmental pollution to make Punjab clean, green and pollution free. No one will be allowed to play havoc with the environment of the state. Mann said he would take every step to ensure the well being of the state and its people.
Since 24 July, farmer organisations and residents of 44 villages surrounding the factory have been protesting the alleged contamination of groundwater by the ethanol plant owned by former Shiromani Akali Dal MLA and liquor baron Deep Malhotra at Mansurwala village in Zira. The liquor factory, which has more than 3,000 employees, has been closed since 26 July.
The affected villagers had written to the CM alleging that the liquor factory was causing serious damage to underground water, air and environment.