Majlis cuts Khuzestan’s sand and dust storms budget

January 21, 2018

TEHRAN – The budget proposed for fighting sand and dust storms in the southwestern province of Khuzestan in the next year’s budget bill is facing a big “no” by the special committee of Majlis [the Iranian parliament].

The administration had proposed $150 million in the budget bill for the next [Iranian calendar] year 1397 (starting on March 21) for combating sand and dust storms in southwestern Iran, including Khuzestan, but the Majlis committee studying the national budget bill has rejected this proposal, said Karim Shafei, the deputy director of the Department of Environment for legal affairs, ISNA reported on Sunday.

This disapproval comes as a surprise since the people of southwestern provinces, specifically Khuzestan, are experiencing severe air conditions caused by sand and dust storms for the fourth consecutive day.

Ali Sari, MP who represents Khuzestan in the parliament, told ISNA “We will certainly object to the elimination of this budget in an open session of the parliament.”

Criticizing the measures taken by the administration to tackle Khuzestan’s sand and dust storms, the MP added that these measures are “remedial, not preventive.”

Khuzestan is in dire straits

According to Khuzestan provincial department of environment, the concentration of fine dust in Ahwaz, Behbahan and Masjed Soleyman stood at 627, 2926 and 2056 micrograms per cubic meter at 9 a.m. local time.

This is while the normal level of fine dust concentration is 150 micrograms per cubic meter.

Schools, universities and even offices were closed in some southwestern cities to temporarily protect the health of citizens.

MAH/MQ/MG

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