Namchi, 07 July (IPR): Hon’ble Chief Minister Mr. P.S. Tamang (Golay) launched the ambitious State Government’s project titled ‘A Day for Mother Earth’ at Kitchu Dumra in South Sikkim today. He was accompanied by Deputy Speaker, SLA, Mr. Sangay Lepcha, State Forest Minister, Mr. Karma Loday Bhutia, Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, Political Secretary to HCM, Advisors, Chief Secretary, officials, Panchayats and public at large.
At the onset of the function, the HCM planted a sapling of Peepal (Ficus Religiosa) at the premises. The Cabinet Ministers and other dignitaries also planted saplings of various species.
Addressing the gathering, the HCM extended his congratulatory wishes to the Forests, Environment & Wildlife Management Department for successfully organising this programme which is being celebrated all over the State. He also mentioned that one of the unique features of this programme is dedication of seven minutes to Earth in Sikkim commencing from 11.00 am to 11.07 am wherein no vehicles will ply on the roads except for emergency vehicles like ambulance, police, fire and major services. This initiative has been added so as to reduce air pollution and carbon footprints which will also be an annual feature.
The HCM shared his concern over the adverse climate change happening presently all over the world covering our State too. He laid emphasis that immediate action should be undertaken to combat the threats posed by climate change which may result in major natural disasters, droughts and many more irreparable damages.
He stated that a resilient long term action plan must be conceptualised to ensure sustainability and to bring about crucial environment transformational change. He added that the aim of this distinct programme is to encourage people to plant an ample amount of trees and to increase the average green cover in Sikkim.
The HCM also said that the general public must not only rely on Forest Department for plantation drive rather they should take it up individually as it is a trait of being a conscious citizens. He added said that he will be planting about 1000 saplings and directed the Cabinet Ministers, Chief Secretary, Panchayats to plant 500, 300 and 100 saplings respectively and ensure for the saplings survival.
Additionally, he also encouraged the masses to plant at least 10 numbers of saplings as this activity will help to conserve the environment.
He also informed that the State Government will soon set up recycling projects in which the waste generated by the public of Sikkim will be reduced and that less amount of garbage will be tipped in the respective landfills. For this project to work out, he urged the general public to understand the nuances of waste segregation from the source as efficient segregation will assist the municipal garbage collectors to dump the garbage in a systematic manner.
Sharing his concern on the water scarcity problem, Mr. Tamang also articulated that focus should be laid on rain water harvesting units in the State and initiative for this unit will soon be commenced by the State Government.
The HCM also updated that the State Government till date has closed two companies for violation of environment rules and regulations and asserted that any company or institution found breaching any environmental guidelines will be liable. Additionally, he announced that Kitchu Dumra will be redeveloped as an open area where people can have a leisure time.
Addressing the government employees, the HCM advocated them to absorb a healthy work culture environment wherein they can work in an effective and efficient manner. He also directed the CS to float new tenders wherever there is any requirement.
Speaking during the programme, Forest Minister Mr. Karma Loday Bhutia spoke about the objective of ‘A Day for Mother Earth’ which has been initiated to preserve the fragile ecology of the State along with spreading awareness about the adverse effects of climate change. He also drew light on the various climate issues plaguing the globe such as depletion of ozone layers and many more and said that these issues can be encountered through planting and sustaining of trees.
The Minister added that the public should be mindful and should avoid using plastic bags and any other amenities that can hamper the environment. He updated that compensation provided by the companies located in Sikkim will be rightfully utilised in saving the environment.
Furthermore, he encouraged the contractors to work in coordination with conservation of the environment as it is extremely vital in today’s world.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests cum Principal Secretary, Mr. M.L. Srivastava, presented a brief report about this programme as well as the Forest Department. He also said that today is the closing day of Van Mahotsav Week and shared that Sikkim is one of the hotspots of distinct vegetation and added that it is our responsibility to maintain this natural resources through various green activities.