Punjab seeks centre’s help for cancer-affected belt

September 21st, 2010 - 8:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Chandigarh, Sep 21 (IANS) Concerned about the rising cases of cancer in the state’s Malwa belt, the Punjab government has urged the union government to allocate special funds from the National Rural Health Mission to control the disease, it was announced here Tuesday.
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said he along with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently, requesting him to set up an All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)-like cancer diagnostic and treatment centre in the Malwa belt to ensure early detection and treatment of cancer cases.

Badal said the Punjab government has set up special ward and diagnostic facilities at Baba Farid Medical University at Faridkot and a specialised cancer hospital in collaboration with Max Group was already under construction.

He said that the state has requested the union health minister to sanction special allocation to Punjab keeping in view the seriousness of the problem.

Experts have attributed the rising number of cancer cases to the excessive use of pesticides in the Malwa belt in the last few decades, which has led to the contamination of the groundwater.

Badal said the Punjab government has already installed reverse osmosis (RO) systems in over 500 villages and all affected villages and cities of Malwa region will be covered under the system in the next 12 months.

The Malwa region of south-western Punjab comprises of Bathinda, Faridkot and Mansa districts.

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