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QUESTION HOURMajithia, Dharamsot spar over arrival of migratory birds at Harike

The two blamed each other’s governments for the dip, with Majithia accusing Dharamsot of misleading the House at one stage.

Updated: Mar 03, 2020 22:34 IST

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times Chandigarh

CHANDIGARH

Punjab forest minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) legislator Bikram Singh Majithia sparred over dip in the number of migratory birds at Harike wetland.

The two blamed each other’s governments for the dip, with Majithia accusing Dharamsot of misleading the House at one stage. The argument took place during the question hour. In response to Majithia’s question regarding decrease in the arrivals of migratory birds, the minister said this was not correct. As per figures of last seven years, the average number of migratory birds was 90,561 in Harike wetland and the bird count was 91,000 during the current year.

Majithia said a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) study had indicated a dip in the number of birds seen at the wetland from 1.23 lakh to 90,000 this year, asking the minister if he had visited the site. He also asked the minister about illegal encroachments around the wetland. In response, Dharamsot said the number of birds had been fluctuating. He also said the government had recovered 20,000 acres of land by removing illegal encroachments of their (Akalis’) favourites.



The SAD MLA challenged the minister’s claim, suggesting that a House committee should be set up to check its veracity. “If the minister is correct, I will resign from the membership of the assembly. If it (the minister’s claim) is a lie, will he resign?” he questioned. Dharamsot replied that the number of birds had decreased after they (Akalis) started the amphibious bus at Harike.

‘SARPANCHES DILLY-DALLY ON DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDS’

Replying to a question by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Budh Ram regarding sarpanches delaying the release of funds for the construction of toilets to poor beneficiaries in Ralli and some other villages of Budhlada, water supply and sanitation minister Razia Sultana said if village sarpanches were dilly-dallying on attesting the forms of beneficiaries, the government would try to find a solution to solve the problem.

Budh Ram said that sarpanches of various villages were making distinction while attesting the forms due to political considerations. Speaker Rana KP Singh intervened in the matter and asked the minister to resolve the matter on priority.

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