Parliamentary Panel slams Railways for ignoring Environmental problems

New Delhi: Parliament’s key Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has lashed out at the railways for not according due importance to “serious environmental problems” of emissions from diesel locos and dealing with waste water generated at stations.

“The committee is constrained to observe that the ministry of railways has not accorded due importance to serious environmental problem of emissions from diesel locos,” the PAC headed byCongress member K.V. Thomas said in its report presented in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

Stating that no serious efforts have been made so far on the issue, the panel, also comprising members like S.S. Ahluwalia, Nishikant Dubey (both Bharatiya Janata Party), Sudip Bandypadhyay (Trinamool Congress), Satyavrat Chaturvedi (Congress) and Bhartruhari Mahtab (Biju Janata Dal), said that no delay should be tolerated on the same.

“It is imperative and incumbent on government to initiate effective and immediate action to address the problem and keep the committee apprised,” it said.

The 23-member committee comprising members from both the houses of parliament took exception to the fact that there was “no system for monitoring the quality and quantity of waste water generated at stations”.

The panel said even the instructions from the Railway Board for installation of effluent treatment plant at all major stations has not been adhered to.

“On an average, one effluent treatment plant had been installed in each zone leaving most of the stations without any plant,” it said.

The committee also recommended that the railways in consultation with the pollution control boards should set up a high-powered panel with adequate technical and expertise for formulating comprehensive policy to control environmental and noise pollution in trains and stations and also carry out surprise checks.

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