JAMMU: Expressing grave concern over mushroom growth of pesticide industries and other Pollution creating units in Jammu division, particularly in Samba, Kathua, Udhampur and Vijaypur areas during last few years, JKNPP Chairman and former Minister, Harsh Dev Singh has urged the Government to install an effective regulatory mechanism to regulate the same so as to save the populace from exposure to their extremely hazardous effects. He regretted that hundreds of toxic pesticides, banned in various States, had been granted licenses by J&K Government in past without bothering about the damage, they were doing to human race and ecosystem. He further said that the Government agencies had not only granted licenses to produce highly toxic pesticides and insectides in J&K, but same were being renewed year after year despite immense damage being caused to environment including pollution of air, water, damage to flora and fauna, birds, animals besides human beings.
Supporting the agitation launched by Kathua residents, especially womenfolk against the industrial pollution, he said that there were numerous complaints of serious ailments having been caused to people in the vicinity of such polluting units in Kathua, Samba, Jammu and Udhampur districts besides damage to agricultural produce but regretfully the authorities concerned had turned a deaf ear to entreaties of affected persons due to their vested interests. He further said that not even a single officer of the health, agriculture, or pollution control board had ever taken any action against any such unit for violation of Food Safety Act, Insecticides Act or other environmental laws.
Calling upon the administration to break the officials-unit holders nexus, Singh sought immediate review of the policy with regard to such pollution causing units in State. He said that the Industries Department must act before it is too late in view of unimaginable damage being caused by such units to human life, health, agriculture crops and environment in the State by these outside manufacturers, concerned solely about their profits. He further said that Panthers party would be forced to resort to agitational course, in case the helmsman failed to initiate action against producers of such dangerous pesticides and other highly toxic chemicals, which constitute the greatest threat to environment and human life in near future.