Punjab & Region

Ludhiana: Civil Society organizations stage protest, demands ‘Freedom from Pollution’

The Fact News Service
Ludhiana, September 11

Third protest in the “Freedom from Pollution” series was organized by civil society organizations led by PAC for Sutlej and Mattewara Forest here today.

The citizen led organizations allege that the government is non serious on the issue of environmental pollution and degrading quality of river waters like Sutlej and Buddha Darya are proof of that. The current protest was organized on the bridge on Buddha Nullah near Tajpur Dairy Complex.

Col CM Lakhanpal of PAC said, “Dairies contribute a lot to the pollution load of Buddha Nullah. NGT had ordered CPCB to frame guidelines for dairies which CPCB had published in July 2020. As per those no dairy is allowed within any city limits. Secondly dairy farms cannot be located in flood prone areas. Thirdly they cannot be within 500 meters of a river. Ludhiana dairy complexes of Tajpur and Haibowal both violate all of these guidelines and therefore it is no longer legally tenable to keep them within city limits. Therefore govt has no choice but to shift them out of the city.”

Jaskirat Singh of Naroa Punjab Manch said, “Senior IAS officers who have worked on the Buddha Darya problem for years have clearly said in the meetings of Buddha Darya Task Force that the problem of Buddha Darya cannot be solved without shifting dairies out of the city and Effluent Treatment Plants are not going to be enough to solve it. The govt had even agreed to remove dairy ETPs from the 650 crore tender if it is decided to move dairies out of the city but again for some strange reason a huge amount of tax payers’ money is being wasted on ETPs for dairies which will have to be shifted out soon for both legal and practical reasons.”

Kuldeep Singh Khaira of Vigilant Citizens Forum said, “The govt seems to be taking decisions based more on political calculations than for the welfare of the city. Instead of solving the problem they are complicating it by taking contradictory decisions of shifting dairies and building ETPs at the same time. Govt should take such important decisions with full transparency and public discussion which is missing in this case.”

Dr Amandeep Bains of RBS Roots said, “On one hand this Rs 650 crore Buddha Darya rejuvenation project that concerns health of millions is not having a single eminent environment scientist or a health scientist on the team despite the fact that the project concerns drinking water pollution of millions on the other the govt is not even answering questions that citizens and civil society have been asking. This shows that govt neither has sincerity to solve this problem nor any answers to such questions that are being asked. It is now only trying to cover up its failure to address this serious issue at the fag end of its 5 year term.”

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