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Rajasthan’s poppy trade legal, no risk to Punjab: visiting minister

Rajasthan’s visiting health minister has denied that his state is responsible for the sale of poppy husk in Punjab.

punjab Updated: May 01, 2015 09:10 IST
Arjun Sharma
Arjun Sharma
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan,Parkash Singh Badal,poppy husk

Rajasthan’s visiting health minister has denied that his state is responsible for the sale of poppy husk in Punjab.

Reacting to Punjab chief minister Prakash Singh Badal’s demanding that Rajasthan stopped the open sale of poppy husk, Rajendra Singh Rathore said here on Thursday that his state was doing it in a legal way that posed no risk to Punjab. He was in Ludhiana to invite industry leaders to Resurgent Rajasthan Partnership Summit planned in November.

“Rajasthan is cultivating poppy by the rules and regulations. Punjab has filed no complaint with us about our poppy’s entering its territory. I disagree with the statement of the Punjab CM that poppy husk comes into his state from Rajasthan,” said Rahore.

Many industrialists met the delegation that included Rajasthan health minister Rathore and commissioner of agriculture and horticulture Kuldeep Ranka, and discussed the possibility of building units in the neighbouring state.

‘Sutlej pollution case before green tribunal’

Asked for his views on the industrial pollutants being released into Ludhiana’s Buddha Nullah, which were running into the Sutlej river and causing cancer up to north Rajasthan, Rathore said Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje had raised the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi already and the case was before National Green Tribunal.

“The Ludhiana industrialists being invited to Rajasthan will have to adhere to our rules against pollution. For subsidy, they must ensure zero wastewater discharge,” said Rathore, adding: “We want investment, not pollution.”

Rajasthan secretary Kuldeep Ranka said his state had marked more than 340 industrial areas. “The incentives for building units in Rajasthan will include a capital subsidy of 20% for zero-wastewater-discharge units,” he said, adding that the manufacturers of automobile parts particularly were keen to come to Rajasthan, since it was close to the National Capital Region.

First Published: Apr 30, 2015 23:11 IST