Union Minister Babul Surpiyo on Wednesday blamed the West Bengal government for not ‘co-operating’ with the Centre over its efforts towards forest conservation and curbing pollution, particularly in Kolkata.
The Minister of State for Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) was speaking on the sidelines of the State Science and Technology Conclave organised as part of the fifth edition of the India International Science Festival (IISF) here.
In August this year, MoEFCC disbursed over Rs 47,436 crore to all states under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) scheme. The scheme is aimed at improving the forest cover.
“Every state had sent their respective ministers of forest to New Delhi and during a function, we handed over cheques under the CAMPA scheme. Since West Bengal forest minister Bratya Basu was not present on the occasion, we handed over the cheque to the two government officials who represented West Bengal,” said Supriyo.
When asked about his ministry’s efforts to keep air pollution in check, the Asansol MP said, “As a minister of environment, we have written several letters to Kolkata, but most of them have gone unanswered. Last year, the list of most polluting industries located alongside the river in Kolkata stood at 48. I will now need to check as to how many of those industries that were issued notices still exist.”
Urging state science and technology (S&T) councils to take up more active role in improving research, Ashutosh Sharma, secretary of Department of Science and Technology, said, “S&T has remained ignored for long now. The state must first identify problems that are local and take up research find solutions as they are the best to do so.”