Special Correspondent

LUCKNOW: Environmental degradation dominated the proceedings in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly here on Wednesday as members expressed concern at rising levels of air, noise and river pollution and urged the Government to take effective measures for control. The Congress and the BJP pointed to serious health hazards of environmental pollution.

The BJP members walked out of the House in protest against the Government’s failure to ensure measures for cleaning the Aami river, a tributary of the Rapti in eastern UP. The BJP had earlier staged a walkout over slaughter of milch cattle.

Expressing concern at the increasing pollution levels, Pramod Tiwari (Congress) said the environmental calendar had gone awry, as manifested in global warning and melting of glaciers. He said the changes in environment were due to water, noise and air pollution. Rapid decline of the green cover was another contributory factor.

Stating that 85 per cent of the urban centres in the State, including Lucknow, Kanpur and Ghaziabad, were badly polluted, Mr. Tiwari said people were gradually getting afflicted with respiratory problems.

Urban Development Minister Nakul Dubey admitted these were serious issues and said it would take time to bring down the pollution levels.