‘Save water, save farming’ campaign: BKU Ugrahan demands groundwater testing by independent laboratory

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On the second day of the stir, union leaders accused the Trident Group of contaminating groundwater in nearby areas and sought testing by an independent laboratory. Punjab government had recently appointed the Group’s chairperson, Rajinder Gupta as the vice-chairperson of the Economic Policy and Planning Board.

Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan) on Friday intensified its ‘Save water, save farming’ campaign outside the Trident Group’s unit located at Dhaula village in Barnala, with a large number of women and union president Joginder Singh Ugrahan also camping outside the premises.

On the second day of the stir, union leaders accused the Trident Group of contaminating groundwater in nearby areas and sought testing by an independent laboratory. Punjab government had recently appointed the Group’s chairperson, Rajinder Gupta as the vice-chairperson of the Economic Policy and Planning Board.

BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) senior vice-president Jhanda Singh Jethuke alleged, “The wastewater discharged by the unit is reaching in homes in nearby areas. A solid chemical substance is accumulating in water tanks of people living in adjoining villages. The tubewells are also spewing wastewater discharged by the unit. Testing of ground water of the area should be carried out by a private laboratory.”

Union president Joginder Singh Ugrahan said, “Corporate houses in connivance with the World Bank have executed a conspiracy in the state. First, they contaminated it, then they treated it, then decided to sell it and fixed rates and that too on their own. Punjab’s water belongs to its people. Government should scrap World Bank policies and start its own projects to provide treated water and increase the supply of canal water for irrigation purposes,” said Ugrahan.

Rubbishing the allegation Rupinder Gupta, vice-president of the group said, “The union makes two allegations on us — that we are using groundwater and second that groundwater is being contaminated. The allegations are false as we are using canal water for our industrial work. It also costs less than the groundwater. Secondly, STPs have been installed in our unit’s. Earlier we were discharging 20% treated water in the water body and utilising 80% treated water for plantation on group’s land. Since last month, we have not been discharging treated water as we have purchased 100 more acres and are using 100% treated water for plantation.”



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