Shimla : Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur presiding over the State Level World Environment Day function at Shimla on 5 June 2020..
The State of Himachal Pradesh has embarked on the path of green growth and sustainable development without causing any harm to the environment by maintaining a fine balance between development and at the same time ensuring no harm to the fragile ecology of the State. This was stated by the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while presiding over the State Level World Environment Day function of the Department of Science Environment and Technology, here today.
Chief Minister said that the Himalayan region was not only important for the people residing in this region, but it was of utmost importance for the whole world. He said that the State has been endowed with diverse climatic conditions and a variety of flora and fauna. He said that World Environment Day was the “people’s day” for doing something to take care of the Earth. He said that the World Environment Day should not be a ceremonial occasion, but something concrete must come out from this. He said that polythene was rampantly polluting the water bodies, harming marine life and posing a threat to human health. He said that the Himachal Pradesh became first state in the country to ban use of polythene bags in the State. He said that plastic water bottles less than one liter capacity would be banned in the public meetings in the State. He said that the tourists visiting the State must be sensitized to use jute or paper bags instead of polythene bags.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Government has also imposed complete ban of use of thermocol cutlery as it was also non biodegradable and causing harm to the environment. He said that instead of this the Government has promoted use of ‘pattals’ and ‘dona’ made of leaves. He said that it was very essential to maintain a fine tuning with the environment as nature has sufficient for everyone’s need. He said that the State Government has also launched a polythene buy back scheme under which polythene was being purchased for the people at the rate of Rs 75 per kilogram. He said that the main objective of this scheme was to ensure that the polythene does not get into environment and could be recycled and reused. He said that the used polythene was being utilized for metaling of roads.
Chief Minister said that the polythene was also one of the major cause of pollution of water resources and choking of water supply. He said that the water crisis in Shimla town during the summer of 2018 was due to the pollution and degradation of water catchment areas, rivers and water bodies supplying water to the town.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the State of Himachal Pradesh was rich in bio diversity as it houses 5721 species of fauna and about 3295 species of flora, which comes to about seven percent of the biodiversity of the country. He said that the State Government was committed for conservation of our rich bio diversity and as many as 3871 Biodiversity Management Committees have been constituted in the State at the panchayat level. He said that Biodiversity Register should be prepared. He said that Biodiversity Committees should be constituted through the Rural Development Department. Similarly, the Urban Development Department should effectively monitor the functioning of these Committees in their areas, he added.
Chief Minister said that the role of NGO, Mahila Mandals, Yuvak Mandals and common people of vital to ensure environment conservation as no programme of the Government can succeed without the active participation of the people. He said that all the programmes like ODF, literacy campaign etc. were success only due to the people’s participation.
Chief Minister also released three publications, ‘Climate Change Impacts and Vulnerability Assessment in Himachal Pradesh’, Trainer’s Guidebook on Interring Climate Change in Development Planning in Himachal Pradesh’ and ‘Technology Needs Assessment for Climate Change Adaptation in water sector in Himachal Pradesh’ brought out by the Department.
He also presented ‘Pattal Making Machines’ to two self help groups.
Chief Minister also distributed Environment Leadership Awards 2019-20 to the winners.
In NGO category, Healing Himalayas Foundation, Kullu bagged first prize, The Voice NGO Shimla Second and Chandan Kranti, Mandi third prize. Gram Panchayat Kamroo, Sangla Kinnaur won Second Prize in Gram Panchayat Category. In industry category M/s Torrent Pharma Baddi won first prize, M/s NTPC Kol Dam Bilaspur and M/S Luminous both won second prize, Swami Vivekanand Government College Ghumarwin came first in Academic Institutions other than Schools. In school category Government Senior School Shamror, Solan won first prize, DAV Senior Secondary Public School New Shimla and Government Senior School Himgiri, Chamba both bagged second prize. In office premises, SJVNL Corporate Office Complex Shimla was adjudged first and DDU Hospital Shimla bagged second prize in hospital category. Chief Minister congratulated the prize winners on the occasion.
Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said that the developed countries of the world were responsible for depletion of the ozone layer due to greenhouse gas emission. He said that the State was doing a commendable work in maintaining the green cover of the State.
Chief Secretary Anil Khachi expressed his concern over the dumping of garbage along roadside and said that mindset of the masses need to be changed. He said that the prize winners of the event must emerge as Ambassadors of environment conservation.
Secretary, Environment Science and Technology Rajneesh while welcoming the Chief Minister made a presentation of Shimla Jal Parbandhan Nigam Limited and steps taken to rectify water leakage in Shimla town.
Director, Environment Science and Technology D.C.Rana presented vote of thanks.
Mayor Shimla Municipal Corporation Satya Kaundal, Deputy Mayor Shailender Chauhan, MD, SJVNL, Nand Lal Sharma, PCCF Ajay Kumar were present o the occasion among others.