Emphasizes incorporating environmental subjects in school curriculum
The Newz Radar, Shimla
Presiding over a state-level function of World Environment Day at Hotel Peterhoff here on Monday, Himachal Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu announced that the state government would frame a policy within a year to find alternatives to plastic and would encourage industries to seek an alternative for plastic and gradually thereafter will enforce a complete ban on the use of plastic in the state.
He stressed the utilisation of plastic in road construction and emphasised incorporating culture and environment-oriented courses in the educational curriculum to promote environmental awareness among the children.
The government is actively seeking alternatives to boost and preserve the environment said the Chief Minister, and urged people to cooperate with the government’s efforts in environmental protection and reducing pollution.
He highlighted the impacts of climate change, such as changing weather patterns and increasing water crises across the country, which is evident from the fact that many states were demanding extra water from Himachal.
Chief Minister shed light on the first budget while emphasising his dedication to shaping a greener future for Himachal Pradesh. He said that to address environmental issues, the present state government has presented a green budget, allocating funds for renewable energy initiatives besides focusing on combating single-use of plastic. Over the next three years, government vehicles will be phased out and replaced with electric vehicles. The production of solar and wind energy is also being promoted in the state, he said.
In support of environmental conservation, the Chief Minister distributed 9 dona-pattal machines to women’s self-help groups and provided solar lights to 20 single women as a means of promoting sustainable practices. He also released the batch and poster of ‘Mission Life.’
As a symbol of promoting environmental awareness, the Chief Minister was presented with a jacket made from recycled plastic waste.
The Chief Minister also inaugurated the exhibition of various self-help groups and other organisations.
Chief Secretary Prabodh Saxena detailed the comprehensive programme being implemented by the state government to safeguard the environment encompassing district-level initiatives, panchayat-level projects, etc. Though the forest cover has increased in the state, waste management is a challenge still, he said and it was mandatory to look for a substitute for plastic.
Cluster head of GiZ, Mohd Al Khawad emphasised that climate change is a significant concern in the Himalayan region, with its consequences becoming increasingly evident today. GiZ is actively engaged in addressing this issue through four key projects in Himachal Pradesh. These projects focus on forest management, wetland management, water security and water management. Through these initiatives, GiZ aims to combat climate change and promote sustainable practices in the region.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, Dia Mirza highlighted the adverse effects of plastic waste and its presence in the human bloodstream through the intake of various eatables. The government and industries have to think together to tackle this menace. She exhorted to work with collective responsibility, adding that alternative to plastic was the need of the hour.
Welcoming the Chief Minister and other dignitaries on the occasion, Director, Environment, Science, Technology and Climate Change, Lalit Jain said that this year World Environment Day is being celebrated on the theme ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ to create awareness about plastic pollution. He said that the department organises several programmes from time to time to make people aware and also gives prizes to encourage better work.
MLAs Harish Janartha, Kewal Singh Pathania, principal advisor (IT & innovations) Gokul Butail, OSD to Chief Minister, Gopal Sharma and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.