Muktsar: Potash-rich village farmers meet Ravneet Bittu over Centre’s land acquisition move : The Tribune India

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Muktsar: Potash-rich village farmers meet Ravneet Bittu over Centre’s land acquisition move

Muktsar: Potash-rich village farmers meet Ravneet Bittu over Centre’s land acquisition move

Ravneet Singh Bittu. File photo



Tribune News Service

Archit Watts

Muktsar, July 8

A delegation of farmers from Kabarwala, Kattianwali and Sarawan Bodla villages in Lambi today met Union Minister of State for Railways and Food Processing Industries Ravneet Bittu in Chandigarh and sought his interference over the Centre’s move to acquire their land after a survey report has showed that it is potash-rich.

Got assurance from minister

We met MoS Bittu in Chandigarh, seeking his help against the move for the acquisition of our land. The meeting lasted nearly an hour and a half. The minister assured us that he would seek a report from the state and the department concerned of the Centre in three days. Gagandeep Singh, BKU (lakhowal) Chief

Speaking on the phone, Gagandeep Singh, president, Bharti Kisan Union (Lakhowal), Muktsar district, said, “We met Bittu in Chandigarh, seeking his help against the proposed move of acquisition of our land. The meeting lasted nearly one-and-a-half hour and the minister assured us that he would seek a report from the state and the department concerned of the Centre in three days. We earlier met state Agriculture Minister Gurmeet Singh Khudian, but he could not give us a satisfactory reply.”

He added, “Now, we will meet the SDM and Tehsildar of Malout and Executive Engineer of the Mining Department on Tuesday. We don’t want to give our land.”

Meanwhile, Bittu uploaded a post on his Facebook page and claimed that he would bring the matter to the notice of the Centre and won’t let the acquisition happen for the exploration of potash.

The farmers on July 1 lodged a protest outside the Tehsil office in Malout by blocking the Abohar-Malout national highway. They met the SDM on July 3, wherein a meeting with the officers concerned was fixed for July 9.

According to the Indian Minerals Yearbook 2019, published by the Indian Bureau of Mines in May 2021, a reconnaissance survey for potash, gypsum and associated sulphates was taken up in Muktsar and Fazilka districts in 2018-19. A borehole intersected the target zone of mineralisation at a vertical depth of 516.20 metre. Gypsum and anhydrite/sulphates were found to occur as intermittent bands. The study will continue, according to the yearbook.

Muktsar Deputy Commissioner Harpreet Singh Sudan has said, “The Centre has just sought a preliminary report of the total area as some minerals were found in a survey. We can give in writing to the farmers that as of now there is no proposal to acquire their land.”

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