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In Punjab, Prince shows concern about environment

Visits a farmhouse in Fatehgarh Sahib district, asks his staff to tie up with Punjab govt on supplying neem saplings.

india Updated: Oct 04, 2010 21:05 IST
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Hindustan Times

Returning to the farms of Punjab after a gap of four years, the Prince of Wales this time went away with a promise - to supply saplings for conserving environment “in case people here are willing”.

Wearing a steel grey suit, Prince Charles arrived at Sukhchain Singh Gill's farm here at 4 pm and stayed there for an hour before leaving for Patiala. Mehar, the youngest member of the Gill clan, welcomed the Prince by presenting a bouquet to him.

The Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker, was not by the Prince's side when he walked through Gill's banana farm, seeing seedless cucumbers grown under controlled farm conditions.

Unlike his previous visit to Patiala in 2006, when the Prince had inaugurated the Bhoomi Vardaan Foundation, an initiative in organic farming, this time he seemed well briefed about the issues concerning Punjab.

The Prince asked the staff accompanying him to tie up with the Punjab government for supplying neem saplings. The Prince was visibly excited about the banyan tree grown in the courtyard of the house built on the farm.

The Prince also stood under the tree for about 10 minutes and enquired about a cow and a calf standing in a corner.

The Prince of Wales who arrived in Punjab on Monday after the inauguration of the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi was apparently not impressed with the queries by the media.

Farmers' Commission chairman Dr G.S. Kalkat said the Prince had been briefed about the issues concerning agriculture in Punjab - depleting water table, excessive use of pesticides and burning of paddy stubble.

The district administration and police officials who were on their toes before the Prince's arrival later relaxed when the Prince was in the farmhouse courtyard.

In an exhibition put up by the farmers' commission, the Prince was shown farm implements like happy seeder and laser land leveller besides bananas and turmeric grown on Punjab farms. After having tea, the Prince willingly posed for photographs with those present before leaving the farm in a Mercedes.

First Published: Oct 04, 2010 21:02 IST