Punjab Soil and Water Conservation, Technical Education and Employment Generation Minister Rana Gurjeet Singh on Friday termed the increase in BSF limits from earlier 15 km to 50 km as fourth ‘black law’ imposed by Centre on Punjab, which would stalled the growth and development of the State.While addressing here at after laying foundation stone of project for utilising treated water for irrigation at around 2500 acres of agriculture land through underground pipeline system, the Soil and Water Conservator Minister Rana Gurjeet Singh said that earlier Centre had imposed three farm laws and now the more powers to BSF is another black law on Punjab. He said that this illogical act of Centre would not only increase debt on state but also hit trade & industry badly besides rising employability in the region. Punjab Government will strongly oppose this arbitrary decision, said the Minister, adding that this move of the Centre would leave the people under panic. He urged that Centre should give special incentives for all border districts of J&K, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat and waiving off all taxes for industrial development for 10 years, cheap power besides providing freight equalisation as he proposed the same in 2011.Describing plight of Punjab’s farmers, the Minister lashed out at the Centre for deliberately ignoring the demands and concerns of country’s peasantry protesting at borders of national capital.
He reminded the Centre that Punjabis played a pivotal role in country’s freedom struggle & safeguarding the frontiers of country and besides immensely contributing in country’s food kitty by producing crops but today the farmers had been forced to sit at Singhu for more than a year’s period for their rights but Centre didn’t pay heed to them, which is painful. He said that Punjabis’ had turned the infertile lands to fertile ones in the country but they were being harassed.Emphasising the need to think about the gravity of depleting water table day by day and unhealthy soil, the Minister said that soil health in Punjab was not good due to use of pesticides to produce crops. He said Punjab was facing several crisis including soil health, farmers’ reeling under debt and the depleting water table and he would take up this critical issue with Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and Cabinet. “Drip irrigation is the only solution to retain depleting water table. We have to come out of traditional crop cycle by adopting some other crops. For installation of drip irrigation system, 90 percent subsidy will be sought. I will discuss this issue with CM Charanjit Singh Channi and other cabinet colleagues so that the adequate solution can be put in place” he added. The Minister said that Israel based company had assessed the water situation in the state. He said as per the reports the state had water availability for next around 30 years and to address the issue of depleting water table all of us especially farmers should make concerted efforts by adopting modern methods.Prominent amongst those present on the occasion included MLA Sunder Sham Arora, Mayor Surinder Kumar, District Congress President Dr. Kuldeep Nanda, Acting president district youth congress Kapurthala Harnoor Singh Harji Mann, sarpanches and farmers of different villages.