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Helpline, SMS facility to assist green campaign

india Updated: May 30, 2010 10:15 IST

PTI
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Taking a cue from Karnataka, the Environment Ministry has decided to launch toll-free helpline and SMS facility to lodge complaint against pollution-related problems.

"We are in talks with an organisation to start the initiative. The facility will be available in at least eight languages to reach out to the maximum people. The format is being worked out," a senior ministry official told PTI.

The novel idea came after Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh at a recent national workshop on 'Reforms in Environmental Regulation' was told about the SMS facility initiated by Karnataka Pollution Control Board (KPCB).

MDN Simha, Chief Environmental Officer (CEO) of the Board, had said the service had been launched for the public to register complaint against pollution-related problems.

The tech-savvy minister asked his officials to work in the direction to encourage people to not only point out such problems but the entire gamut of issues surrounding environment and forests.

"I daily get hundreds of e-mails from people belonging to various walks of life and many are worth taking action. They also update me on what is happening where in the country," he said referring especially to a mail regarding 'violations by Srinagar Hydro-electric project in Uttarakhand.'

On the basis of the complaint, which was found to be true, the Ministry had ordered suspension of the work at the dam till environment regulations were complied with.

Ramesh felt that with environment becoming a crucial issue there was need for creating awareness among people about their rights to book the offenders.

"The SMS service is an addition to the plethora of complaint registry systems in the KPCB," Simha said, adding that an initial hiccup apart, the facility is receiving good response.

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