Guwahati : Making a fervent appeal to the youth to realise the hazardous impact of plastics and non bio degradable objects that cause tremendous harm to our environment, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Saturday said that the state government would set up Assam Institute of Waste Management and a separate department would be made for looking after waste disposal and management.
Saying that cleanliness is next to godliness as only clean thoughts can result in clean deeds, Sonowal called upon the young generation of the state to commit themselves to the cause of protecting the environment and practice cleanliness in their day to day lives.
Speaking at the inaugural function of National Conference on Waste Disposal and Management organized by National Green Tribunal at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra in Guwahati, the Assam CM said that, the whole country is now struggling with the problems of huge build up of waste and its hazardous impact on the environment.
'The situation calls for a smart handling of waste which includes processing and recycling as per the latest technology,' Sonowal said.
Saying that there is tremendous pressure on the environment with the ever growing human population and increasing living standards of people as new settlements are burgeoning and industries have also been established to meet the growing needs for survival, Sonowal stated that waste disposal or waste management requires management of the waste from its initiation to its final removal.
'As Guwahati aims to become the hub of economic and tourism activities in the next few years, our government would strive to ensure that ecology and economy coexists. We want to take Assam into high growth trajectory and usher in a period faster development but not at the cost of the environment,' Sonowal quipped while informing about the government initiative to plant 10 crore saplings that started on World Environment Day on June 5 which would increase the green cover in the state and boost the ecology.
Saying that Assam is blessed with abundant natural resources, the Assam CM stated that perennial problem of flood that cause devastation in the state every year must be managed scientifically and he informed about the collective approach of all the Northeast states and Bhutan to find a permanent solution to the problem.
He also said that review of flood situation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his vision to find a solution with a joint mechanism would go a long way in this regard.
Referring to Prime Minister Modi's quote swachhta hi sewa that resulted in the visionary campaign of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by the Prime Minister to rid the country of wastes and garbage, Sonowal thanked the Prime Minister for bringing a competitive spirit among the cities to become clean and turning it into a mass movement.
Saying that a clean state is more hospitable to its visitors and subsequently brings greater investment to economy, Sonowal hoped that two day conference would be able to come up with solutions to the waste management challenges faced by the modern cities and help the government formulate policies accordingly.
He also thanked the National Green Tribunal for organising the conference in the city which would see participation of academicians and legal experts.
Chairman of National Green Tribunal Justice Swatanter Kumar, who was also present on the occasion, said that it is the collective responsibility of all sections of the society to protect the environment and take steps for scientific waste management.
The National Green Tribunal is striving to make the country better place for the next generations by preserving the nature and biodiversity of the country, he said.
Judges of Supreme Court of India Sharad Arvind Bobde and U.U. Lalit, Chief Justice of Royal Kingdom of Bhutan Lyonpo Tsering Wangchuk, Minister for Forest and Environment Pramila Rani Brahma, Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court Ajit Singh, among others also spoke on the occasion and dwelt on the importance and challenges of waste management.
(Reporting by Hemanta Kumar Nath)