Ludhiana MC’s dairy shifting project hits another roadblock as gram sabha denies giving land to govt
Two days after principal secretary of the local bodies department, AK Sinha visited Gorsian Kadar Baksh village in Sidhwan Bet area over the proposal to shift city-based dairy units to the village, a meeting of gram sabha was held in the village wherein a resolution was approved denying transfer of panchayat land to the government.
With this, Ludhiana MC’s project to shift over 500 dairy units outside the municipal corporation (MC) limits has once again hit a roadblock. The project to shift the dairy units from Haibowal and Tajpur road dairy complexes has been hanging fire for a long time. This will also have a cascading effect on the ₹650-crore project initiated by the state government to clean Buddha Nullah. The seasonal stream cannot be made pollution-free as long as dairy waste and cow dung is dumped into it.
While the authorities say they have been working for around two months to shift the dairy units to Gorsian Kadar Baksh, the village residents say the administration never took their consent before chalking out the proposal. The high powered committee formed by the local bodies department had finalised the site for shifting of dairy units.
Gorsian Kadar Baksh sarpanch Jagdev Singh Deol said, “The administration never took our consent. We have around 400 acres of panchayat land in the village and the administration is seeking 200 acres for establishing a dairy complex. The gram sabha has decided that we cannot hand over the land as over 100 families in the village have taken the land on contract from the panchayat, and are dependent on it for livelihood.”
“The gram panchayat gets an annual revenue of around ₹1.10 crore from the land which has been given to farmers on contract basis and we take up development works with that amount. After the officials visited the village on Tuesday, over 300 out of 550 voters in the village came together to complete the quorum of the gram sabha on Thursday and we have approved a resolution that the land will not be given to the administration for shifting of dairy units,” said the village sarpanch while adding that a copy of the resolution will be sent to the deputy commissioner’s office, MC and Punjab chief secretary’s office.
An MC official, requesting anonymity, said that as per the rules, they cannot oppose the gram panchayat’s resolution and the deputy commissioner’s office should intervene in the matter.
Despite repeated attempts, Mayor Balkar Sandhu was not available for comments. Meanwhile Deputy Commissioner Varinder Sharma said that he has not received anything in writing from the villagers till now and he cannot comment on the issue before he receives anything in writing.
Earlier, National Green Tribunal (NGT) had also directed the authorities to shift the dairy units situated on the banks of Buddha Nullah in view of the pollution.