Noted eco-activist Balbir Singh Seechewal, who has been spearheading a campaign against pollution of rivers in Punjab, has asked all political parties to lay due stress on environment protection in their election manifestos. He also appealed people not to vote for those parties that ignore the issue completely.
Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Seechewal said during the previous term of the Lok Sabha, none of the MPs from the state had raised the issue of environment protection. "In the last session, not even a single query was raised by the state MPs on environmental issues. This is highly unfortunate. The people must deny power to political leaders who are insensitive towards environment concerns," he added.
"Environment protection has so far not figured among the top priorities of political parties. I have discussed this with every political leader who came in contact with me during the past few years. In the previous assembly elections in the state, I took every leader to drains that are being polluted by contaminated water released by industries. We'll continue our efforts in the upcoming general elections and have already contacted all political parties through email," Seechewal said.
Linking the issue of drug addiction in Punjab with environmental pollution, Seechewal said: "It's pollution only that lead to vices in society. People aren't able to eat healthy food. With every passing day, ground water is being further contaminated. Industries are releasing untreated water in drains, rivers, lakes and other water bodies and all of this is going unchecked".
Seechewal was accompanied by Harkishan Singh Sodhi, Jeet Simgh Roorhewale, Daya Singh, Amrik Singh Khukhrain, Ranjit Singh, Satpal Singh, Nirmal Dass and other representatives of the Sant Samaj.