Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

After Badal’s tour, Punjab officials take stock of air pollution in Kanakwal, assure villagers of help

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Kanakwal | Posted: June 7, 2014 7:50 pm | Updated: June 7, 2014 8:33 pm

The Punjab government state officials on Saturday visited the village of Kanakwal to interact with and redress the grievances of the villagers.

The villagers of Kanakwal, which is located in close vicinity of Bhatinda refinery, for long have been complaining about the increased level of air pollution leading to various ailments in the residents.

The officials visit comes after the Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal toured the village on June 5 after villagers complained  about the air pollution level..

The officials team was headed by the principal secretary to the CM KJS Cheema and DC Dr Basant Garg.

In their complaint, the entire village had requested that they be translocated to some other place, however, during the interaction 40 families decided to take money in return of their land as they wanted to shift some where else.

The other 150 Dalit families requested in favour of proposed government constructed houses on Bathinda- Talwandi Sabo road.

The officials assured the villagers that compensation would be made and their demands would be met.

As per the government plan, the villagers who want to be translocated would be given land 10-15 KM away from the present location and as for Dalits, government built houses would be constructed for them.

All is not that simple and easy as it appears, complain the villagers.

They say the process of interaction and re-location started last year in April 2013 and since then the government officials have shown three sites and again a new site has been discussed about, but nothing concrete has come about.

The villagers say that they want to move out as early as they could but so far nothing has happened.

Bhakar Singh, Nambardar of village said,’ Government has agreed to give land and compensation,  but the process has been too slow.’
Singh also informed that the villagers, once move out, either will have to come here on only daily basis for doing farming or alternatively the government would take over the land.

Air pollution and related deaths:

The PPCB experts say that the cause for the pollution are the suspended  particles due to excessive dust in the area.

Villagers complained of itching and irritation in the eyes. They also complained that two infants died due to air pollution.

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