Punjab chief justice against pesticides

Published: Wednesday 30 April 2008

On April 6, the chief justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice V K Jain, said pesticides threaten living populations as well as the the future generations. "Even mother's milk is no longer safe. The vegetables and fruits we eat are contaminated on account of use of too many pesticides, which will finish our coming generations," the chief justice said.

The alarming decay in environment is a matter of great worry and authorities must take appropriate steps to tackle it, he said. "Environmental degradation is a silent killer. We are being sentenced to death. The clock is ticking fast and pesticides of all types will finish coming generations," Jain noted. Jain was inaugurating a seminar on "Environmental contamination and social response", in Chandigarh, organized by an ngo, Kheti Virasat Mission.

G S Kalkat, chairman of the Punjab Farmers' Commission, said pollutants have taken catastrophic dimensions in the state, wreaking havoc on its natural resources and soil health. He said 70 per cent of total pesticides in the country are used in Punjab and some 1.5 million hectares of farmland in the state is under chemical fertilizers. Ernest Albert, environment expert of the National Geographic Channel, scientists such as Umendra Dutt and S G Kabra, and Claude Alvares, director of the Organic Farming Association of India in Goa, also spoke.

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