Mega integrated textile region and apparel parks at Koom Kalan: PAC accuses Punjab govt of reneging on its promise

Published on Jun 29, 2022 12:19 AM IST

After Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann gave the go-ahead to the proposed mega integrated textile region and apparel parks at Koom Kalan, the Public Action Committee (PAC) on Mattewara and Sutlej on Tuesday accused the Aam Aadmi Party of reneging its promise to shelve the project

Accusing the CM of misleading the people, the committee members said the project was sure to violate environmental norms and further pollute the Sutlej river. (PTI)
Accusing the CM of misleading the people, the committee members said the project was sure to violate environmental norms and further pollute the Sutlej river. (PTI)
ByMohit Khanna, Ludhiana

After Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann gave the go-ahead to the proposed mega integrated textile region and apparel parks at Koom Kalan, the Public Action Committee (PAC) on Mattewara and Sutlej on Tuesday accused the Aam Aadmi Party of reneging its promise to shelve the project.

In response to the Opposition’s question, Mann on Tuesday had said that no river pollution would be allowed in proposed textile and apparel parks at Koom Kalan in Ludhiana and all environmental clearances and norms as fixed by the Centre and State Pollution Control Boards would be adhered to.

Accusing the CM of misleading the people, the committee members said the project was sure to violate environmental norms and further pollute the Sutlej river.

PAC member and Council of Engineers president Kapil Arora said, “On one hand the CM said that no river pollution would be allowed, and on the other hand dyeing industries, which cause the highest pollution,are slated to be setup at the integrated textile region and apparel parks. If a pollution causing industry is not being established, then why is the government promising to setup a common effluent treatment plant at the parks. Besides, as per the directions of the National Green Tribunal, construction is not allowed on the floodplains of any river. ”

Right To Information Act activist Kuleep Singh Khaira the ill-conceived project was the outcome of a nexus between industrialists and bureaucrats. “If the proposed park is established it will cause irreparable damage to the flora and fauna in the floodplain area and ruin the fragile biodiversity of the Sutlej.”

Accusing the AAP of using the Mattewara issue as a mere poll plank, he said, “Successive governments have spent hundreds of crores on cleaning the Buddha Nullah, but have failed to rejuvenate the toxic drain.”

In June 2020, the Sakhewal village panchayat had passed a resolution opposing the park in the presence of AAP MLA (Jagraon) Sarvjit Kaur Manuke. The legislator had also extended support to the villagers and had promised to shelve the project if the party was voted to power.

The committee, which comprises social activists, educationists, ex-servicemen, industrialists and villagers, is vociferously opposing the parks.

Jaskirat Singh, a social activist and a chemical expert, said the land in question is in the middle of three protected forests – Mattewara, Jaspal Kadar and Haidar Nagar.

“The CM has said nothing new as the previous governments also used to speak about installing Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs). The decision will damage the floodplain which recharges groundwater. Pollution norms are breached rather than followed in this country.We have a prime example in the shape of the Buddha Nullah,” said Jaskirat Singh.

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