After Karnataka Forest and Environment Minister Eshwar Khandre threatened to shut down Siddhasiri Ethanol and Power Unit in Chincholi, Kalaburagi district, which is owned by BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, the MLA challenged the Congress government on Sunday, January 28, saying that he is not be frightened by the closure notice. The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) had recently sent a closure notice to the BJP MLA’s factory for not abiding by norms.
According to Minister Khandre, the Vijayapura MLA’s ethanol factory, where lakhs of tonnes of sugarcane is crushed, had installed boilers without obtaining permission from the authorities concerned, the Deccan Herald reported. The Minister added that the Union Environment Ministry had earlier imposed a Rs 1.5 crore fine on the factory for violations, and despite paying the fine, the BJP MLA did not obtain relevant permission to operate the factory.
Responding to this on X, Yatnal said, “The pollution that was not there for the last two years is now visible to your blind government? You incompetents who cannot face me directly politically think that these notices can scare me. Tell the “corrupt” behind this notice that the fight against you will continue.”
Earlier, Minister Khandre said that there was no political motivation behind the decision to shut down the factory. “In a meeting of the KSPCB a week ago, I had directed officials to take stringent action against all factories that violate environment norms. When I gave this direction, I did not even know that Yatnal’s sugar factory was one among the violators. Subsequently, the KSPCB issued notices to many. Mr. Yatnal’s factory operating at Chincholi taluk in Kalaburagi district is one among them. The law will take its course,” he said, according to The Hindu. He said that a criminal case would be filed against all those factories that continue to operate despite the closure notice.
On Saturday, alleging that he was being targeted, MLA Yatnal said that he would take legal action against the government for issuing the closure notice to his factory.