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Bathinda

Posted at: Jan 12, 2018, 12:57 AM; last updated: Jan 12, 2018, 12:57 AM (IST)

Protests lead to unhygienic conditions

Contractual staff of thermal plant agitate in front of Dist Admn Complex
Protests lead to unhygienic conditions
Dirty water accumulates by the roadside in Bathinda. Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 11

The indefinite agitation by contractual employees of the Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant outside the District Administrative Complex has led to unhygienic conditions at the protests venue.

The protest began on January 1 against the state government’s decision to completely shut down the thermal plant.

Apart from sitting on agitation, the protesters set up a community kitchen at the protest venue on the first day where they prepare meals for those sitting on agitation.

Owing to lack of management, waste is being thrown around and dirty water has been accumulating near the site where the protesters have been camping.

Another major issue is that of shortage of toilets for the protesters at the site. Since only one washroom located inside the District Administrative Complex has been opened for their use, the protesters, especially males, prefer relieving themselves by the roadside to going inside the DAC.

The protesters, however, have been accusing the district administration of not paying heed to their demand of opening more washrooms for them.

“We had given a memorandum to the district administration announcing that we would be holding protest outside the DAC and demanded that washrooms be made available for use of the protesters, who also include women and children,” the protesters said.

They added that on the first day, the district administration didn’t allow them to enter the DAC premises to use the toilets.

But after noticing that the protesters had started relieving themselves in the open, the administration opened one toilet and issued a gate pass to be carried by the person using the washroom.

District administration officials maintained that they couldn’t allow more than one protester to enter the DAC premises as there was also a possibility that they would assemble inside and stage a protest.

NGT's earlier order

  • Interestingly, in October 2017, the National Green Tribunal had taken cognizance of the pollution, which the protests had been causing at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi and banned holding of protests there. . 
  • The NGT had observed that the environmental condition at the Jantar Mantar road in relation to noise pollution, cleanliness, management of waste and public health has grossly deteriorated. 
  • Besides, dharnas, slogans, noise pollution and health problems due to unhygienic conditions generated by the agitators were a cause of concern.

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