Centre would try to bring consensus on Bt Brinjal: Jairam Ramesh

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Chandigarh, Jan 28 (ANI): Union Minister of state for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh informed here on Friday that before taking a final decision on Bt Brinjal, his Ministry would try to bring a common consensus on the basis of public consultations across the country.

Addressing the National Consultations on Bt Brinjal here, Ramesh said: "These consultations will help the government to implement the decision in a transparent and democratic way, in which all aspects including the reactions of the people in favour or against the Bt Brinjal will be taken into consideration."

"The viewpoints of the stakeholder groups including agriculturists, scientists, health experts, consumer groups, citizen forums, NGOs, media and legal experts will also be considered," he added.

Ramesh informed that the statutory body of the Ministry known as Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), has recommended the environmental release of Bt Brinjal in India on the basis of recommendations of the Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation constituted earlier.

"Consultations will provide appropriate inputs to the Ministry regarding deciding about the Bt Brinjal," Ramesh said.

He also said that Environment and Forests Ministry is committed to maintain the environmental balance by controlling the pollution in the country.

"In Punjab a project worth Rs. 190 crore for river cleaning will be started soon, in which the work will be started from the Sutlej River falling in Jalandhar and Phillaur cities," Ramesh said.

He further said that state government has been directed to prepare a detailed action plan to deal with the pollution in Ludhiana as it has become 8th critically polluted city in the country.

"A notification to overcome the problem of pollution has been released to all those cities, which are emitting heavy amount of industrial pollution. The notification of pollution control has also affected the investment plan of Rs. 25000 crore, which is in the pipeline for the industrial development in Ludhiana and Gobindgarh and waiting for appropriate action of the state government to curb pollution," Ramesh added.

He also said that the state governments must own the responsibility to maintain the environmental standards by checking the increasing rate of municipal and industrial pollution through the Pollution Control Boards. (ANI)

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