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Villagers, Activists Oppose Industrial Park Near Forest In Ludhiana

The industrial park will come up simply 5 kilometres away from the Mattewara forest.


A proposed industrial park in Ludhiana has sparked a confrontation between the Punjab authorities and the native villagers, who concern it’ll disrupt the ecology within the space.

According to the plan, the economic park — which can have textile items in about 1,000 acres of land — will come up simply 5 kilometres away from the Mattewara forest in Ludhiana district, 200 km from Chandigarh. 

The authorities had approached the villagers in Sekhowal to lend the panchayat land for establishing the economic park, following which 407 acres of land was agreed upon. But the villagers have now backtracked from the deal, saying they had been “tricked” by authorities officers.

“In May the block development officer called the sarpanch and other panchayat members and convinced them that a park will be set up on panchayat land. The sarpanch and panchayat members signed on the resolution to allow government to utilise the land. We later realised that it was for industrial park and not a usual park. We will not allow the industries to be set up here which will disturb our environment,” stated Kashmir Singh, who claimed to be a relative of the sarpanch.

Environment activists have additionally joined the villagers of their combat. They declare that the proposed industrial park won’t solely have an effect on the forest but in addition the Sutlej river flowing close by. “This move by the government will destroy the environmental system. The textile park will release its effluents in this Sutlej river and will damage it. Trees will be cut. We nature lovers have organised committee and have written to the Chief Minister (Amarinder Singh) to review his decision,” stated Ranjodh Singh, an environmental activist.

The authorities, nevertheless, has assured that the the ecology of the place will stay intact. “We are not going to cut any trees nor we are using any land of the forest area,” Amarinder Singh assured. 

The chief minister’s assurances have nevertheless didn’t pacify the activists, who cite the economic air pollution at one other Ludhiana waterbody, the Buddha Nullah.

“We know what happened with Buddha Nullah. How it turned from a water stream to a dirty drain….the govt has not been able to clean it up over years….and similar threat looms large on the sutlej river if industrial park comes up near Mattewara forest area,” stated Ravneet Singh, marketing campaign supervisor, EcoSikh. 

Punjab has lower than three per cent of forest space and with dwindling underwater desk, the federal government should be certain that the state generally known as the land of 5 rivers shouldn’t be disadvantaged of its pure sources.

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