Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bhagwant Mann joins fight against pollution in Sutlej

Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Teja Rawela (Fazilka), May 25
Noted Punjabi comedian Bhagwant Mann has decided to build a movement to save the people of the border villages, who are becoming handicapped due to the consumption of heavily polluted black water of river Sutlej in the absence of potable water.

Mann took this decision after visiting the victims of the polluted Sutlej water of this village this evening.

He came here on his own after reading a news item that appeared in a section of press about the plight of residents of those border villages, who have become handicapped as they are forced to consume the poisonous water of Sutlej.

"Why are bureaucrats being paid huge salaries, why do politicians go to these village to seek votes in elections and why is Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal mum over the plight of the residents of these villages despite the fact that they fall in the assembly segment represented by him," asked Mann.

Disclosing that he was going to set up a non-governmental organisation (NGO) to raise voice on various social issues confronting the state, Mann said he would also appeal to artists of the state to come forward to help such people, who had been living in hellish conditions. He claimed that artists have the ability to make ruling politicians listen to the grievances of the most cursed sections of society.

"The residents pleaded with me that their villages should be transferred to Pakistan as they hoped that their plight would be changed by the rulers of the neighbouring country," said Mann, adding that he was a social critic and would keep on fighting for the interests of Punjab.

He said that he had also asked the victims and other residents of the villages to stage a dharna at Chandigarh. "I am not against any government. However, I would participate in the dharna if the victims invite," he added.

Can the successive governments of Punjab answer as to whey they allowed the polluted water of Sutlej to adversely affect the health of the residents of the border village when they were also respectable citizens of the state? Can the successive governments justify the blatant ignorance and denial of basic amenities to such people by them," he asked.

The time had come when Punjabis would have to come forward to save the rivers of Punjab, failing which, potable water would become rarity in the state, which had acquired the pride of being the food bowl of the country, Mann added.

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