A standing committee of Parliament on science and technology, environment and forests and space would be holding meetings in Ludhiana and Amritsar on February 13 and February 14 and 15, respectively, to discuss nationally important issues, said Rajya Sabha MP and chairman of the standing committee Ashwani Kumar, while addressing mediapersons at his residence here on Friday.
Kumar said the committee would discuss issues related to pollutions, reducing land fertility due to excessive use of fertilisers, housing, sanitation, water supply, sewerage and other civic facilities so that a tangible developmental plan could be chalked out for the overall development of Ludhiana and Amritsar.
Kumar said the Metro rail project for Ludhiana, which had been a hanging fire, was likely to be taken up at the meeting of a 29-member standing committee represented by MPs cutting across the political parties.
Kumar said gases emitting from industrial clusters and other industrial units were causing air pollution to an alarming extent in Ludhiana, while Budha Nullah had also been adding to the environmental and ground-water pollution there.
Commenting on large-scale migration of people from villages to various cities, Kumar said at present, 40 crore people were living in cities in India, which was likely to reach 70 crore by 2035-40 and 80 crore by 2050.
He said the shortage of potable water in Ludhiana was a great challenge to both the government and the district administration.
The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) had collected 1,376 samples of potable water from Ludhiana, said Kumar, of which 70% failed tests. “Unfortunately, the failed samples had contained uranium that causes cancer,” he added.
The Rajya Sabha MP said he had invited scientists from Tata Cancer Hospital, Mumbai, to deal with the problem of contaminated water in Ludhiana.
Kumar said during their two-day stay in Amritsar, the standing committee would visit Harmandar Sahib, Durgiana Temple and Attari border.
Kumar said he had called a meeting of the Global Commission on Climate on February 22 to discuss the solution to the issue of the Taj Mahal in Agra turning yellowish.