Dev industry and protect environment: Experts
‘Saffron production declined from 16 tons in 1960s to six tons at present in Kashmir’
Srinagar, May 27: Experts on Thursday emphasized the need to protect the environment while developing industry in the state.
Speaking at the concluding session of Green Solutions J&K, the conference aimed to address the problems confronting environment at the SKICC here, the experts said that it was important to go ahead with industrialization, “but not at the cost of environment.” The three-day conference was organized by the Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) in collaboration with the Indian Youth Climate Network (IYCN).
Economic advisor to J&K government, Jaleel Ahmad Khan, said that since ecology in Kashmir was very fragile, it was important to see to it that industry didn’t interfere with the environment. “While going ahead with industrialization, we have to take care of the environment as well,” Khan said.
“And in that direction,” he said, “we are constituting common affluent treatment plants at Lassipora, Khonmoh and other industrial estates, so that the effluent generated out of the plants does not affect the environs there.”
Talking about initiatives of the present government vis-à-vis industry, he said two important task forces had been created for rehabilitation of the sick industrial units and three committees had been constituted to oversee the vacation of private properties as well as industrial units.
Minster for Industries and Commerce, S S Salathia said environment and economic growth shared an inverse relationship and emphasized that they should go hand-in-hand. “Industrialization is no doubt important, but it is also important to see that environment is not degraded,” he said.
Chairman Finance Commission, Mehmood-ur-Rehman, said no doubt the industrial climate had received a set back during past two decades, “but it can be revived by new packages that have been announced for the state.”
Stressing the need for preserving heritage of Kashmir, he said earlier Kashmir would be the biggest producer of saffron in the world, “which, however, is not a case anymore.”
He said where Kashmir would produce 16 tons of saffron in 1960s, now it produces merely six tons. On the other hand, the production of Iran had increased from 13 tons to over 100 tons, he said. “So we ought to be more responsible towards our heritage,” he said.
Earlier, giving a detailed presentation on background and working of IYCN, Rishab Khanna, funding director of the organization, said the IYCN was a network that united youth of the country and the youth-oriented organizations, who were concerned about the climate change and environment issues.
The IYCN, he said, worked towards generating awareness and establishing consensus on what role India should play in the global debate of climate change, and how it should address its domestic issues.
Khanna said 51 per cent of India’s population of over one billion was under 25 years and two-third of the population under 35 years, hence it was important for them to have a voice in certain policies, “so that our future is secured.”
Conducting the proceedings, Ritu Asrani, project coordinator, IYCN, said Kashmir was the paradise on earth and “we have to take steps, so that it always remains the paradise.” “This is for the first time that environmentalists and industrialists are sharing the same platform. We want to set up an example for other states as well,” she said.
“Today it may be the concluding session, but this is not the end; this is infact the beginning. We have got many more challenges to face and we are hopeful that with the support from the J&K CM, we will achieve our goal,” she added.
Among others, Mubarak Gul, advisor to CM, Lal Chand, chairman J&K State Pollution Control Board, Shant Manu, secretary / commissioner Environment and Forests, Farooq Renzu, director Information, Ovais Raheem, regional coordinator for J&K, IYCN, noted environmentalist Muhammad Yousuf Chapri, other environmentalists, bureaucrats, entrepreneurs, academicians and ministerial colleagues and other dignitaries of the CM were present on the occasion.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 27 May 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 27 May 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 28 May 2010 00:00:00 IST
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