Sangrur, February 24
Members of the Vidhan Sabha Ghaggar and Buddha Nullah Committee today interacted with residents of affected villages on the embankment of the seasonal rivulet Ghaggar at different locations in Sangrur district on Friday.
Besides alleging corruption in cleaning and strengthening of Ghaggar, residents also requested panel members to take quick action to contain the pollution in the rivulet as cancer and other diseases were on the rise in the area.
“After the formation of the AAP government in the state, water was clean as officials tightened the noose around industrial units to prevent the release of pollutants in Ghaggar. But after six months, water again got polluted. The panel should take up the matter with the government,” said Sukhwinder Singh with folded hands in what seemed to be an embarrassment for senior officials of the Punjab Pollution Control Board and the Panchayat and Canal Department, who accompanied committee members.
Committee interacted with affected residents at Khanauri, Mandavi, Makraud Sahib and a college at Moonak.
The committee had MLAs, including chairman Daljit Bhola Grewal, Ashok Prashar, Gurpreet Banawali, Madan Lal Bagga and Lehra legislator Barinder Kumar Goyal, under whose constituency all meetings were organised.
“Cancer has killed many residents of our village. We have to bear foul smell emanating from Ghaggar. Officials have misappropriated crores under the garb of repair and strengthening of the rivulet. We request the Punjab Government to order a high-level inquiry into the utilisation of funds during the last 15 years,” said Gurbhajan Singh, an elderly from Mandavi village.
Committee chairman Daljit Bhola Grewal said they had noted complaints of residents and would prepare their report as early as possible.
“The committee will look into all complaints of residents. Our government is committed to rid the area residents from adverse effects of Ghaggar,” he said.
Lehra AAP MLA Barinder Kumar Goyal said from Khanauri to Makraud Sahib, Ghaggar had width of 588 feet, but from Makraud Sahib to Kadail it had the width of 190 feet.
“The decrease in Ghaggar’s width leads to blocking and overflowing of water and ultimately causes recurrent flooding in many villages of the area. Since all the previous governments have failed to take effective steps, the proposal to widen the rivulet from Makraud Sahib to Kadail has been pending with the Ghaggar standing committee of Central Government,” said Goyal.
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