Environmental volcano waiting to erupt: Parliament panel head

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) An “environmental volcano” is waiting to erupt but the NDA government has not taken any significant action since it came to power, Congress MP Ashwani Kumar, who heads a parliamentary panel on environment, said on Saturday.

“The environment ministry has a huge responsibility consistent with its massive mandate to secure the future of India. I am sorry to point out that in the last 15 months, nothing new has been done to address the challenges that were known to the ministry,” Ashwani Kumar said at a press conference over the reports tabled by the committee.

“We (the committee) have said that whatever logistical difficulties of the ministry are there should be corrected. The ministry should be helped in discharging its mandate. But there is absolutely no excuse for inaction,” he told reporters.

“An environmental volcano is ready to erupt anytime… the environment ministry cannot escape responsibility,” he said.

The panel, which submitted 15 reports, has recommended formation of a new committee to consider afresh specific areas of environmental policy after it found the objections raised by experts on the proposals of a high-level committee constituted to review green laws as “valid”.

One of its reports said India has 13 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities, 76 of the 150 major rivers were polluted, and that 83 percent of the ground water was contaminated.

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