Punjab CM calls for combating water pollution

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Luhiana, Jul 17 (UNI) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today asked the representatives of the industry, chairman and vice chairman of the state's large and medium industry and small scale industry boards to suggest ways and means to combat the menace of water pollution.

Addressing the state level 59th 'Van Maha Utsav' function held here at PAU after planting a sapling to mark the occasion, Mr Badal said the government could not compromise on the environment issue to promote industrial growth.

He appealed the leaders and opinion makers to rise above party affiliations and come forward to launch a crusade against the widespread pollution of air, soil and water. He assured that the suggestions given by the representatives of different industries would be taken into consideration while taking any prior decision on checking water pollution.

He said the entire Malwa belt had been affected due to high content of water pollutants, which had led to a large number of cases of cancer, gastroentritis and skin disorders. He said the government alone was unable to tackle this problem and people's participation was all the more important to get the desired results.

He assured that no industrial unit would be uprooted but at the same time he also asked the industrialists to be considerate while discharging industrial effluents and untreated chemical wastes into the rivers and drains, which ultimately aggravated the situation beyond anyone's control.

Mr Badal lauded that role of the state Forests Department for bringing awareness among the people on the subject of ecological balance. He said efforts should be further intensified to bring more areas under green cover.

Speaking on the occasion Forests Minister Tikshan Sud said the Forest Department had chalked out a plan to plant 88 lakh saplings under the Farm Forestry Scheme near canals, in industrial areas and in educational institutions and the surplus land of the farmers would also be utilised for this purpose. Mr Sud called for launching an extensive campaign to bring Ludhiana--the industrial hub of the state under green cover so as neutralise the negative effects of pollution.

In his address, Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal stressed the need to plant and preserve trees. Punjab assembly Deputy Speaker Sat Pal Gosian also spoke on the occasion.

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