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Govt may probe liquid nitrogen incident: Vardhan

The government will probe the issue of liquid nitrogen being served in drinks or food at soe restaurants if it gets any such information, Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan said on Monday.
The assurance came after Bhubaneswar Kalita of the Congress raised the issue, following which Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari asked him to provide the details to the minister.
The issue came in the backdrop of an incident in April when a man drank a cocktail with liquid nitrogen at a Gurgaon pub that burnt a hole in his stomach. Following this, the Haryana government banned the use of liquid nitrogen in drinks and food.
"If the honourable member has any information about liquid nitrogen being served in the beverages in any particular restaurant, he can pass on the information to us and we will get it investigated," Vardhan also said.
He was responding to a supplementary question asked by Kalita who wanted to know from the minister whether he was aware that liquid nitrogen is served in the beverages in some restaurants.
"What action or what measures are being taken by the Department to stop serving liquid nitrogen in the beverages by restaurants," Kalita had asked.
To another query relating to environment clearance for an aqua food park at Thunduru in Andhra Pradesh, Vardhan said the Centre's permission was not needed for this food park being set up for processing of fish and prawn as this does not fall in the categories of polluting industry under the Environment Protection Act.
This food park project has not yet been completed, he said, adding that the state pollution control board has given the permission for establishing this factory and also laid down norms.
The state government has set up a committee and proposed to lay a 26-km pipeline to discharge effluent to the sea.
"The Environment Clearance has not been granted for aqua food park at Thunduru in West Godavri District as this activity is not listed in the scheduled in the project/ activities under the Environment Impact Assessment Notification 2006 as amended from time to time," Vardhan said.
The minister said the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board has said that the nearest villages are about 450 metres from the industry.
"No drinking resources will be polluted because the proposed food park is not permitted to discharge effluent outside its premises," Vardhan said.
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