Two days after 15 cattle heads died and at least 40 others fell unconscious and sick after drinking contaminated water in Lucknow’s Chinhat area, a pesticide factory that was accused of discharging highly toxic effluent was sealed on Sunday.
While a test report on water samples collected by the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) and the Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR) is awaited, action against the factory – India Pesticide Limited (IPL) – was taken on a preliminary investigation that blamed it for the 15 deaths, including that of a cow.
“The test report of four water samples is yet to come. However, we have sealed the factory on Sunday. We have sent the samples to our central laboratory in Lucknow. The report is expected in five-six days,” said UPPCB regional officer Ram Karan.
IITR Director Alok Dhawan said they have collected samples too and their analysis will take time. The toxic water killed so many cattle heads because it may have contained a lot of poisonous chemicals, he said.
“We are testing the water samples for pesticides and heavy metals in the water. There is also a possibility of biological factors such as bacteria. Generally what happens is that in summers, water evaporates and toxic elements become extremely hazardous. We want to asses everything before making a comment because very heavy quantity of poisonous material is needed to kill a buffalo,” said Dhawan.
The 15 cattle heads, mostly buffaloes, died and 40 others fell unconscious after consuming the water from a drain running from Chinhat Industrial Area on Friday. An FIR was then registered against the IPL owner and other unidentified workers in the case, following demands and protest by locals.
The FIR was registered under sections 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 277 (fouling water of public spring or reservoir), 429 (mischief by killing or maiming cattle, etc), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 352 (punishment for assault or criminal force otherwise than on grave provocation) of the IPC. No arrests have been made.