IEP CHANDIGARH JULY 03, 2022
The Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha Kultar Singh Sandhwan has written a letter to the Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann for saving the Mattewara forest on the banks of river Sutlej in Ludhiana District. He has favoured taking concrete steps for increasing the forest cover in Punjab from the present level of 3.67 percent to 33 percent which is at par with the other states.
In his letter the Speaker has said that Warrior Moms, Mothers for clean air and We support our farms, Bhai Ghanaiya Cancer Roko Sewa Society, Naroa Punjab Manch besides other social institutions have given very good suggestions for increasing the forest cover. These institutions are raising important issues connected with the environment and forwarding suggestions at regular intervals in order to sensitize the Government. The rationale forwarded by such institutions to save Mattewara forest were ignored by the previous Governments which is why the destruction of Mattewara forest near Ludhiana and pollution of Sutlej waters looks certain. The Speaker further said that although all the MLAs of Punjab have been raising the issues concerned with saving the environment, in the previous Vidhan Sabha but the previous Government didn’t took any constructive step on these issues.
Writing further, Sandhwan added that the Mattewara forest issue was raised in the recent session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha and the Chief Minister had assured that the chemical producing industries would not be allowed in this region. The different governments didn’t undertook any step to increase the Forest cover in the State. The degradation of the environment is having an adverse effect on people’s health too. So, it is very important to increase the security cover of trees near the industrial cities. Stemming the tide of diseases such as cancer, lung ailments, asthma etc. being caused due to the water, noise and air pollution, is the primary responsibility of the society and the Government.
Strongly recommending, the Speaker wrote that along side the raising of the issue in the Vidhan Sabha by the MLAs, in order to save the mattewara forest and save the river waters of Sutlej from being polluted apart from the new Government elected on people’s issues, strong steps are necessary to resolve the important issue at the earliest. This would lead to the common people being aware of the Government’s sensitivity towards the important issue related to the health of the masses and the Mattewara forest would be saved which is the security cover for the wild animals and the birds and keeping the environment of Ludhiana clean and green.