DIPR - Manipur

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Published on Thu, 07 Jun, 2018 Both

IMPHAL, JUNE 5, 2022 (DIPR): The State level World Environment Day was observed today under the theme ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ at the MMI Complex, Lamdan, Churachandpur district which was organised by the Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association (MMTA) and sponsored by the Directorate of Environment, Government of Manipur. India is the host nation for the World Environment Day this year.

Speaking as the chief guest of the function, Forest and Environment Minister Shri Thounaojam Shyamkumar said eco-tourism park will be developed at the MMI Complex, Lamdan with the fund from the State Government and later with assistance from the Central fund. He further lauded the MMTA officials and students and said their hard work have resulted in the beautification and development of the complex with green forest cover in the area.

Stressing on the need for saving the wildlife as well as the environment, he said there is no need for planting saplings if there is no maintenance or nurturing of the plants. He cautioned those stakeholders who have not nurtured the trees/plants planted during the previous ‘Vanamohatsava’ that they will not be given saplings this year. He opined that the greenery/forest cover is a mark of richness or prosperity of a country. He ended his speech by appealing for joint collaboration from different stalks of life in saving the environment.

Speaking as the guest of honour, Shri L. Radhakishore Singh, Chairman, Manipur Pollution Control Board (MPCB), said the State Government has completely ban the use of plastics below 50 microns and is working on bringing up an alternative of making carry bags from bamboo, paper and other natural products in collaboration with the different NGOs and other stake holders. He said the State is under threat as cheap plastics products including polythene carry bags are imported from the Indo-Myanmar border. The Stat Government will come up with law which will attract fine and imprisonment if anybody violates the use of plastics below the 50 microns.

He said the MPCB is conducting a survey collecting water samples from the different 70 locations of the State to check the water quality, adding that similar study is being done for air and solid waste. The State Government has made arrangement for plastic waste products collection at all the valley districts at the revised rate of Rs 9 to Rs 13 per kilogram with four collection centres in each district.

Addressing the gathering, Y. Nabachandra Singh, Director, Directorate of Environment said according to the global data, 1 million plastic drinking water bottles are bought every 1 minute across the world, adding that 5 trillion plastic disposed bags are used and one third of the total waste generated is leaked into water body which disturbs marine life. Plastic waste is affecting human health resulting in early puberty, heart problem even disturbing wildlife and natural environment, he added.

He said 17 million barrel oil is used per year globally which is a major cause of pollution and around 13 million tonnes of plastic waste are leaked into the ocean. Speaking about the State, he said out of 100 metric tonne of solid waste generated in the State, 5 percent constitutes plastic waste as compared to 10 percent in the national level. According to a recent survey, maximum pollution is caused by the micro-plastic which are also found in mineral water bottles, he added.

He said Manipur Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and Municipal Administration, Housing and Urban Development (MAHUD) has a major role to play in the effective implementation of the Plastic Waste Management Rule which has to be covered in the urban and panchayat level in the State. He also spoke on the successful implementation of the Sikkim model and a need to adopt such successful model in the State. Ending his speech, he appealed to the people to adopt indigenous ways in a modern way and sought cooperation from the people in saving the environment.

Speaking as the resource person, Prof. Rajmohan Singh, Dean, School of Mathematics and Physical Sciences, Manipur University, spoke on adverse effects of climate change, harmful usage of CFCs, rise in the level of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere among others. Stressing on the immediate need for saving the Loktak Lake, he said mass awareness campaign is needed for saving the Sangai and Shirui Lily which puts the State in the tourist map of the world.

He also opined that Government departments should implement practical alternatives for plastic bags by making carry bags made of cloth, paper or any natural products, adding that green mindset is needed among the masses. He concluded his speech by quoting Sunderlal Bahuguna that ‘there is a war between men and nature; if man wins than he will perish’.

Shri Bijoy Kakchingtabam, President, MMTA announced that people bringing plastic mineral water bottles at the MMI Complex will have to deposit Rs 100, the amount will be refunded if they carry the empty plastic bottles while returning from the complex. He further sought help from the Forest Department for plantation drive at the MMI Complex area as it comes under the Loktak Catchment Area.

As part of the programme prizes were distributed for the painting competition held during Imphal Evenings sponsored by the MAHUD Department on occasion of World Environment Day and saplings were planted on the occasion. Officials of Directorate of Environment, school students and MMTA officials attended the function.

Later, Forest and Environment Minister launched Cherry Blossom Avenue at Sendra organised by the Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD). The function was followed by plantation drive.

Speaking at the function as the chief guest, Minister Shyamkumar said the State Government is committed for the conservation of the environment and his departments are sincerely working towards achieving the goal. He said more plantation drives will be carried out at other parts of the State.

Prof Dinabandhu Sahoo, Director, IBSD and Advisor to the Department of Forest and Environment, Government of Manipur said horticultural revolution especially in the hills will boost socio-economic development, if it is combined with the indigenous festivals with proper marketing to attract more tourists who are keen to explore in eco-tourism adding to the sustainable development of the State.

Shri T. Robindro Singh, MLA, Thanga Assembly Constituency along with students of the IBSD attended the function. (DIPR)