Ramesh’s advice for environment, agri ministries | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Ramesh’s advice for environment, agri ministries

Rural development minister Jairam Ramesh wants agriculture minister Sharad Pawar to control pesticides and useage of ground water for irrigation. He also wants environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan to collect more cess from industries discharging wastes into water sources. Prasad Nichenametla reports.

delhi Updated: Feb 21, 2012 23:30 IST
Prasad Nichenametla

Rural development minister Jairam Ramesh wants agriculture minister Sharad Pawar to control pesticides and useage of ground water for irrigation. He also wants environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan to collect more cess from industries discharging wastes into water sources.


The measures, among others, suggested to the ministries are needed to save and ensure availability of quality water to people, Ramesh said. The minister, also holding charge of drinking water and sanitation, has been—past few months— advocating the need to revamp drinking water and sanitation situation.

On Tuesday, Ramesh held a meeting of national drinking water and sanitation council where he came out with the steps that various departments — including water resources — should take for better utilisation of water.

Ramesh suggested that the environment ministry revise collection of cess from industries discharging wastes.

The minister said, “Cess collected for toxic, non bio-degradable wastes is only 30 paise per kilo litre while treatment of this water for drinking costs Rs 50-60 per KL - about 20,000 times costly. MoEF might like to consider to increase the rate of cess imposed to act as deterrent and cover treatment of polluted water."

Ramesh, who was environment minister for two years before he took over as rural development minister, said he would write to Natarajan suggesting the proposals in detail.

The minister even made the task simple for the ministries by proposing how to go about the suggestions. “Promotion of micro irrigation by the agriculture ministry and by state departments might not have sufficient funds to saturate all eligible landholdings. It may therefore be considered targeting programmes on water stressed areas - for instance the 839 over exploited, 226 critical and 550 semi-critical blocks in the country.”