126.64 LMT of wheat procured; 123.99 LMT lifted

Chandigarh May 20:Out of the total of 126.64 LMT of wheat procurement from the grain markets across the State, up to May 19 the Government Agencies have procured 126.09 LMT while the private traders have procured 55436 MT, informed an official spokesman of the government of Punjab.

He added that more than 123.99LMT of the wheat purchased by government agencies has been lifted from the mandis and Rs.18, 911crore have been released to the farmers through the commission agents of the state.

The spokesman further informed that amongst the State procuring agencies, PUNGRAIN has purchased 29.23LMT, MARKFED 27.64 LMT, PUNSUP 24.30 LMT, PSWC 17.11 LMT and Punjab Agro 12.60 LMT. Similarly, FCI has purchased 15.20 LMT of the wheat sold in the mandis of the State.

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All canals will get fresh water up to tails in next 24 hours: Soni

• Probe panel will submit its report by Tuesday

• Guilty would not be spared

Chandigarh, May 20:The Environment Minister, Punjab, Mr. OP Soni has said that the situation in the river Beas due to the Molasses spillover from the Sugar Mill of kirri Afghana, is being constantly monitored by the Punjab Government.

Mr. Soni said that the Punjab Pollution Control Board and senior officials of Irrigation department and Deputy Commissioner are continuously reviewing the situation at the grassroots level and all canals will get fresh water up to the tails in the next 24 hours. Apart from this, people have been requested not to use water from these canals for drinking purposes.

He said that in order to deal with the situation arising due to Molasses spillover, 2000 cusecs of water from Ranjit Sagar Dam has already been infused in the river Beas. After that the situation has improved. He said that the Environment Department has constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Chief Engineer, Punjab Pollution Control Board which will submit its recommendations so that these type of situations never occur in future.

The Environment Minister further said that the environmental issues were never take up seriously by the previous government, that's why their is no check on mills and factories, who used to spillover their chemicals and other hazardous residues in canals and streams. The Punjab Government, led by the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, is committed to save the environment and water of Punjab. He said that whoever is responsible for the Beas incident, will not be spared at any cost.

He said that Chaddha Sugar Mill has already been sealed and the security deposit of Rs 25 lakh has also been confiscated.

Mr. Soni also said that strict instructions have been issued to the officials of the environment department and the Punjab Pollution Control Board to strictly monitor the situation and strict action will be taken against those industries who are contaminating the rivers and streams.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Punjab Pollution Control Board Kahan Singh Pannu said that according to the instructions of the government, the stocks of Molasses in all the sugar mills and liquor factories of the state were being checked out so as to make sure that this type of incident never happens in future.