Majlis Looking Closer at Dust Storms

Majlis Looking Closer at Dust StormsMajlis Looking Closer at Dust Storms

The preliminary stages of establishing a special committee in the parliament to address the growing problem of dust storms have been completed and the committee may have its first meeting next week, said Abbas Papizadeh, a member of the parliament’s agriculture committee.

Speaking to ISNA, Papizadeh said the MPs from Khuzestan Province and other affected regions have been trying to form the committee for some time, and if all goes well, the committee may convene next week.

“The main objectives of the committee are to raise public awareness about the health hazards of the phenomenon, and try to influence the budget bill.”

The committee wants to ensure the Sixth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2016-2021) addresses the issue of dust storms, the MP said, adding: “The problem can be addressed under health, medical, and economy sections of the plan. Given the five-year timeframe, we should be able to fundamentally address the problem and reduce associated health risks to the extent possible.”

Papizadeh reiterated the need to secure sufficient budget to fight dust storms and said that the commission, if formed, will do its utmost to make sure that happens.

Nevertheless, there is one major obstacle preventing the formation of the committee. According to Nasser Soudani, MP from Khuzestan Province, most MPs have not welcomed the idea.

“They claim since the Department of Environment (DoE) is tasked with addressing the problem, establishing a committee for the same purpose in the parliament is pointless,” he said, adding that negotiations to form the committee will resume on Sunday.

“We hope to receive support from other MPs to push the idea forward and convince the parliament to comply.”