STRUGGLING FOR seven years to make water sources pollution free after being appointed member of Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), environmentalist Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal finally sent his resignation to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday, saying that in all these years, things could not be changed at all.
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In his resignation letter, Baba Seechewal mentioned that he was appointed PPCB member in 2009 to make Punjab, especially its water sources pollution free. “Along with my supporters, I tried my best to work in this direction,” he said. “But, even after several years, we realised that things have not changed even a bit despite taking up the matter at every meeting of the board as well as with your (CM) good self,” reads the letter written in Punjabi.
The letter further states that despite the government spending crores to set up the treatment plants, the dirty water, including industrial waste, was still being released in rainwater sources, including Kala Sanghia drain, Jamsher drain, in Jalandhar and in Budha Nullah in Ludhiana as these plants are not run by the government departments for reasons best known to them. And, people living on the sides of these waterbodies have been suffering from deadly diseases due to high pollution in these.
Baba further mentioned that despite his best efforts, nothing has been done “and now on moral ground as well as keeping humanity in my mind, my conscience does not allow me to continue as a member of PPCB. So, I should be relieved from this membership”.
Baba Seechewal, along with his handful of followers, had cleaned 165-km-long highly polluted ‘Kali Bein (rivulet of Beas) in 2000 and it was visited by several eminent personalities, including former President APJ Abdul Kalam. This work of the Baba got recognition at the international level and after it, the Punjab government appointed him PPCB member in 2009.