Srinagar, August 28: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today launched the Polythene-Free Srinagar campaign and urged citizens to eliminate the usage of single-use plastic to lessen its impact on the environment.
Speaking on the occasion, the Lt Governor congratulated the Mayor SMC and Municipal Commissioner Srinagar for the momentous initiative taken to curb the use of polythene in Srinagar city.
Jammu & Kashmir has demonstrated an impressive capacity to maintain and increase forest cover. We have to exploit every possible tool available to ensure our cities complement this effort by saying no to polythene and strengthening our natural ecosystem, observed the Lt Governor.
We are in the middle of the biggest climate crisis and it is up to us how we shape our planet and the cities today, the Lt Governor said.
It is our collective responsibility to include rivers, forests, grasslands, wetlands and all other living species in our future development plans. It is our greatest duty to maintain delicate balance of the environment, added the Lt Governor.
The present generation needs to remember that ‘Nature Never Forgives’. If we lose the balance between Nature and development, I am certain global warming will destroy our civilization and all the modern facilities we have created for mankind, the Lt Governor added.
Our small steps can prevent irreversible damage from climate change. Everyone must strongly support this unique movement and say ‘No to Polythene’, said the Lt Governor.
Speaking on the emerging threat of plastic waste, the Lt Governor observed that around 300 million tons of plastic waste is being collected all over the world every year. As per 2019 report of the Central Pollution Control Board, 34,367 tonnes of plastic waste is being collected every year in Jammu Kashmir and a sizeable portion is single-use polythene, he added.
Climate change is real. If we do not take action now to protect Mother Nature, our rivers, lakes and localities in future could possibly be buried under the burden of this waste, said the Lt Governor.
We cannot overcome environmental challenges without people’s participation. I urge everyone to do their bit to support this important cause, observed the Lt Governor.
Citing an example of a small town of Palwal in Haryana, the Lt Governor also advised people to adopt eco-friendly practices like using cotton bags to curb polythene pollution.
We must add ‘Rethink Strategy’ in our existing 6R Campaign- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Remove, Refuse, and Report to strengthen our resolve for bringing better environmental sustainability in the UT, he added.
The Lt Governor emphasized several measures being implemented by the government for transforming Jammu and Srinagar into smart and eco-friendly cities.
The action plan prepared by Srinagar Municipal Corporation for Waste to Energy Plant has been approved. We are planning to start door-to-door collection of 100% solid waste in all the cities of UT by 2nd October, he added.
Terming the revival of Khushal Sar Lake as one of the biggest examples of Jan-Bhageedari in environment protection endeavors, the Lt Governor expressed gratitude to everyone involved in lake rejuvenation initiative.
Sh. Manzoor Ahmad has done phenomenal work and he is an inspiration for our citizens. I have learnt that he is also working on other plans as well with active participation of the government departments. The administration has also taken up the work of Jhelum Riverfront, added the Lt Governor.
On the occasion, pledge was also administered to make Srinagar a polythene-free zone.
Sh. Junaid Azim, Mattu, Mayor SMC and Sh. Chander Mohan Gupta, Mayor JMC also spoke on the occasion and outlined the measures taken by the Municipal Corporations to reduce the polythene pollution in the UT.
The JMC Mayor also promised to conduct a similar drive in Jammu.
The talented musicians enthralled the audience during “Battle of Bands” programme on the theme of polythene-free Srinagar. Organized by SMC, in collaboration with White Globe, the event is a part of the series of programmes under Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.
Sh. Aftab Malik, DDC Chairperson, Srinagar; Farooq Khan, Advisor to the Lt Governor; Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Sh. Dheeraj Gupta, Principal Secretary to Government, H&UDD; Sh. Pandurang K Pole, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir; Sh. Vijay Kumar, IGP Kashmir; Sh. Athar Aamir-ul-Shafi Khan, Commissioner, SMC, besides ULB representatives and members of Civil Society were present on the occasion.