The importance of research into the effects of pollution on the environment was stressed at a symposium conducted by the SV University's Zoology Department.

Speakers at the inaugural of the international symposium on Environmental Pollution, Ecology and Human Health conducted by SV Universitys Zoology Department on Saturday gave valuable suggestions on tackling the environmental degradation, growing health risk and the need to protect biodiversity.

The three-day event is conducted in collaboration with United States Environmental Protection Agency, Savannah State University and DRDEs Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology (Gwalior). The symposium facilitated exchange of recent results related to environmental pollution processes and their effects on natural resources and public health with the delegates discussing current scientific, technological and legal issues and providing suggestions to the policy makers on environmental quality and safety.

Collective efforts

Minister for Environment, Forests, Science and Technology Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy expressed concern over the growing air and water pollution and sought collective efforts to tackle the same.

He was particularly worried over the pollution levels in poor countries and the lack of awareness and paucity of funds to initiate corrective measures.

Attributing the irregular rainfall and other climatic aberrations to the phenomenon of global warming, Mr. Reddy recalled the States recently launched ambitious plan to plant one lakh saplings in all Assembly constituencies in a year to restore ecological balance. K. Sekhar, Chief Controller (R&D) at Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), noted that a third of the public in India lacked toilet facility, thus landing in serious health complications. Referring to the open disposal of night soil in the trains run by Indian Railways, the largest public transporter in the world, he said it posed the twin menace of aesthetic nuisance as well as health hazard. Dr. Sekhar also explained the bio-digester technology implemented in two trains that made the effluents free of solid organic matter, pathogens and even odour.

Open access

Tracy K. Collier, Director, Environmental Conservation Division, Northwest Fisheries Science Centre, Seattle (USA) spoke on the need to provide open access to the information on chemicals and compounds used in drugs, while Susan Kody King, an environmental scientist at Australian Institute of Marine Sciences, Townsville (Australia) explained the measures taken to protect the biodiversity in the continents long coastline. V-C N. Prabhakara Rao presided, while the Registrar Y. Venkatrami Reddy presented the first copy of the souvenir to the Minister.