Mobile tower. | Representative Image.
Taking a note of damage to over 1,600 mobile towers during farmers' protest against the Centre's laws, Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore on Wednesday decided to summon the state's chief secretary and director general of police (DGP) to seek a report on it.
Meanwhile, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) has written to Punjab CM, seeking his intervention into the matter. The industrial body further said the blockage of key highways linking neighbouring states is resulting in losses to the tune of thousands of crores daily.
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"Governor Punjab V P Singh Badnore took a serious note of the vandalism during the ongoing protest of farmers, where in the past a few days, more than 1,600 mobile towers have been damaged," an official statement said here. He asked the state government to take immediate action to prevent such acts and protect communication infrastructure.
"He has decided to summon the CS and DGP to Raj Bhavan to seek a report on these matters and to express his serious concerns on it," the statement said. "This is a difficult time when education is taking place through online classes, for which such communication lines are vital. Damaging and disrupting communication lines will affect not only students but the whole society and economy also in many ways," the governor said.
The governor felt there has been a failure of law enforcement agencies in preventing such damages. Meanwhile, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) sought intervention of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in this regard.
ASSOCHAM president Vineet Agarwal urged the CM to step up the efforts to ensure that such incidents do not take place. At the same time, the ASSOCHAM complimented the CM for making great efforts to reach out to farmers, asking them not to damage public and private property.
The blockade of important highways connecting Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and the NCR has been resulting in a daily loss of Rs 3,000-3500 crore, as per our earlier estimates, the ASSOCHAM said in a statement. The losses to the economic activities are mounting while the image of the state as an investment destination is taking a dent, Agarwal said.
"Sir, more disturbingly, there are reports from the affected industries and service providers, particularly in telecom, that widespread damage has been caused to the key infrastructure like telecom towers. Such incidents not only result in a huge national loss but also severely dent the image of a progressive state," he said. A prolonged and continuation of the agitation, especially with incidents of damage to the industrial and other infrastructure, would turn investors away from the state of Punjab, he said.