New Delhi (PTI): Forthcoming about the foreign tours by the Minister of Environment and Forests and his deputy, the Ministry had no information to give in response to an RTI application seeking details of their visits to forest belts and sanctuaries within the country.
RTI activist Dev Ashish Bhattacharya had filed an RTI with the Ministry of Home Affairs for information on the foreign visits by Union ministers.
To this, the Ministry of Environment and Forests provided details about the visits of its ministers since the formation of the UPA government in 2004.
It stated that former Minister of Environment and Forests A Raja had gone abroad 17 times, his visits including countries like Switzerland, Argentina, the UK, Japan, Maldives, Canada, Australia, the UAE, Bangladesh, Japan, Kenya and Germany.
Minister of State for Environment and Forests Namo Narain Meena undertook 22 trips to places like the Czech Republic, Kenya, Republic of Korea, US, UK, Uganda, Senegal, UAE, Brazil, Bangladesh, Nepal and Indonesia.
Giving details about the expenditure on the trips, the Ministry said Rs 4,51,000 was spent on four such visits by the Minister and his deputy.
Raja's foreign tours included a visit to the Masai Mara National Park in Kenya in 2005 and the first ministerial partners' meeting of Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking that followed the trip to the sanctuary.
The foreign trips by Meena included the SAARC Environment Ministers Meeting, the 19th meeting of the parties to the Montreal Protocol and meetings on climate change.