Medha opposes Thermal plants, SEZs on fertile Punjab soil

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Patiala, Nov 30 (UNI) Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) and National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) leader Medha Patkar today termed setting up thermal plants and Special Economic Zones on the fertile land of Punjab as ''illogical''.

Talking to UNI here today, the noted social activist explained that was not a ''wise step to setup up thermal plants or SEZs by acquiring productive land of farmers.

She advised that thermal plants should be setup by Punjab on its own or jointly with Centre or state government near coal mines in states like Jharkhand and supply should be routed through National grid for providing cheap power.

Moreover, Punjab already had three thermal plants and setting up more would only disturb the environment of the state, she opined.

She also criticised creation of Special Economic Zones or setting up of industries on agricultural land in any part of the country and termed them as 'Special exploitation Zone'.

Ms Patkar also expressed solidarity with farmers of Punjab saying it as unfortunate that though they had filled the food basket of India, they themselves were forced to commit suicides and offered them her services for any of their cause.

She also criticised the linking of rivers across India and exhorted people to come forward to stop implementation of the plan to inter-link its river basins.

She calimed that by linking river basins country will be pushed towards another 'Kosi-like' havoc.

While denying that she had plans to join politics, Ms Patkar said, "We are very much in politics to promote fight against multinationals and social and economic deprivation of downtrodden." She said that NBA would continue its Movement which had begun as a fight for information about the Narmada Valley Development Projects and continued as a fight for just rehabilitation for the lakhs of people ousted by the Sardar Sarovar Dam and other large dams along the Narmada River.

Ms Patkar was here to attend the marriage of Simpreet Singh, Mumbai-based another social activist and NAPM leader.

UNI XC JN JS1731

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