Mohan Meakin reopens after three months, but doubts remain

mohan Meakin Limited (mml) was in the news recently. But for all the wrong reasons. The Central Pollution Control Board (cpcb) had ordered the distillery to be shut down in early May 2002 on the grounds that the unit was not following norms for the discharge of its effluent. The distillery was recently reopened after an assurance from mml that it will follow the prescribed norms.

"As per the norms, the discharge of one kilolitre (kl) of effluent requires nine hectares (ha) of land. But we found that mml did not have enough land for the disposal of its effluent. Also the effluent treatment plant (etp) was not functioning satisfactorily,' says Dilip K Biswas, chairperson, cpcb.

mml first hit the headlines on May 2, 2002, when a report stated that its effluent was polluting a wetland. "A cpcb team visited mml on May 4, 2002 and found anomalies in the effluent's biological oxygen demand (bod),' says K C Rathod, senior environmental engineer with cpcb. Along with the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (iari), cpcb has developed standards for bod in industrial effluent discharged in river (30 milligrams per litre (mg/l)) and land (100 mg/l). Most distilleries try to discharge their effluent in land because the standards are less stringent, says cpcb.

But mml claims it has been implicated on