Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, December 20
The Punjab Vatavarn Chetna Lehar has asked the political parties to clarify their position on protecting the environment for the 2022 Assembly elections.
The invitation to chiefs of all major political parties was sent for ‘Punjab Vatavaran Lok Sammelan’, an event that was held at Ramgarhia Girls College in Ludhiana on Monday. But, the chief of no political party came to attend the event for sharing their party’s agenda to save natural resources and for protection of environment. The majority of political parties didn’t send their representatives.
Padma Shri awardee Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal and Padma Shree awardee Baba Sewa Singh of Khadoor Sahib were among the environmental activists.
Representatives from the Shiromani Kali Dal and BJP were able to speak at the event. A representative from the Aam Aadmi Party however reached out late in the event. The event was attended by no representative of the Congress, Lok Insaaf Party, or Punjab Lok Congress.
On the occasion, the People’s Green election manifesto for the Punjab Assembly elections was released by Punjab Vatavaran Chetna Lehar.
If their party forms the government of Punjab in 2022, they have been asked to list in their manifestos the steps they will take to save groundwater and stop air, noise, and soil pollution.
Balbir Singh Seechewal appealed to the people to come together to save natural resources. He said that it was a sad state of affairs that no political party had yet spoken out on environmental issues. “We don’t demand drugs or money but we demand a clean environment. Our vote will go to that party which will ensure steps to protect the environment,” he said.
Dr Inderjitkaur of Pingalwara in Amritsar said that the environment should be a top priority as the health and well-being of the citizens is declining.
Giani Kewal Singh said the political persons want “Chair” not society and they fight for the “Chair”. He raised questions as none political party chief came to attend today’s event, aimed to save the environment. During his speech, he termed MPs and MLAs as ‘chowkidars’ of their respective constituency.
Gurpreet Singh Chandbaja of the Bhai Ghanaiya Cancer Roko Seva Society and Naroa Punjab Manch said, “We wanted from chiefs of political parties to share their agenda that what they will do to save the environment but they did not come today.”
“All the toxic effluent is thrown into the Buddha Nullah by Ludhiana city and industries and it further pollutes the Sutlej. The polluted water comes out of the taps of south Punjabi homes, as it is their only source of drinking water. This is a violation of their fundamental right to live guaranteed by the Constitution and sadly genocide by pollution but politicians hardly care,” he said.
Ranjodh Sing, president of Ramgarhia Educational Council said that leaders rarely raise environmental issues at their election rallies. Some activists also raised the demand for cancellation of the state government’s proposed modern industrial park to be set up near the Sutlej and Mattewara Forest but none of the political parties has yet given assurance to cancel or shift the location of the project.