45487046NEW DELHI: The parliamentary estimates committee headed by BJP MP Murli Manohar Joshi, in its first report tabled on Thursday, on arsenic in ground water, has criticized the Centre for “neglecting” the serious issue that impacts at least 7 crore people across six states, according to CSIR estimates (data from different ministries and departments on the subject varies widely, the committee found). 

The panel has recommended that the Centre take up the issue on war footing through a national task force that can work on mission-mode from collating date to taking remedial measures to providing for health care to affected people. 

The committee has suggested that the issue be dealt with at the central level, instead of asking states alone to tackle the problem. Joshi said, “To say water is a state issue is no logic, given the scale of the problem, the Centre cannot escape its responsibility to provide safe drinking water for 7 crore people, which is their fundamental right.” He was speaking at a press conference after the report was tabled.

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