The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests today called for strict implementation of Master Plan in Jammu with well envisaged plan for solid waste management.
Holding a meeting with the officers, representatives of civil society and NGOs here in Jammu, Chairman of the Committee, Ashwani Kumar and the members deliberated upon core environmental issues.
While responding to the issues highlighted by the participants, the committee members stressed that the need of the hour is to think ahead of time to achieve sustainable developmental goals. They stressed on taking up afforestation process in entire state on war footing and abridge the gap between the plantation and tress that are being cut.
The Members suggested for taking up plantation on a large scale and setting up of local nurseries to meet the requirements of saplings.
"It is imperative to set realistic goals and chalkout effective plans for tangible results" the members maintained. They also called for intensifying action against encroachment of forest lands and strict enforcement of laws.
The Committee expressed dismay over the appalling condition of River Tawi and stressed on immediate removal of waste from the river bed.
The Chairman asked Commissioner JMC to mobilize the resources for cleaning of the river adding that the preservation of water resources should be prioritized.
The Committee maintained that solid waste management plan should be well envisaged and incorporated in the master plan to cater to the increasing population and to provide better quality of life to the people. The concerned executing agency was directed to submit a report regarding the sewage treatment plant at the earliest.
It was stressed that the Master Plan is implemented strictly with special provisions of green spaces and parks which act as lungs of a city. The concerned agencies were asked to enforce the laws strictly and take measures to contain noise pollution.
The Committee also reviewed the steps being taken during the Amarnath Ji Yatra and Mata Vaishno Devi Ji Yatra for disposal of waste and stressed that effective mechanism should be put in place to ensure that the ecology of the area is not disturbed.
They stressed that sensitizing the general public and strict enforcement of laws hold the key to environment preservation.
The Chairman exhorted that the problem of environmental degeneration has assumed great proportion and 'We can no more remain mute spectators to the issues". "Collective responsibility towards the cause is required by all stakeholders to ensure that we give better environment to our future generation" he added.
He also stressed on introducing environment as a compulsory subject in the school as a step to generate awareness.
Representatives of various organizations highlighted the vital environmental issues regarding deforestation, encroachments on forest lands, threat of endangered species, issues of unplanned urbanization and inadequate solid waste management plan.
The Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Dr. Pawan Kotwal was asked to submit a comprehensive detailed report on action plan regarding the Master Plan of Jammu City. The Committee members stressed that concerned departments should work in synergy to prepare realistic plan for sewerage and solid waste management.
Later, while speaking to the media persons, Ashwani Kumar informed that the Parliamentary Committee held deliberations with various stakeholders in the state on the issues pertaining to safeguarding and preserving the ecological balance. He said that directions have been issued to the concerned departments to submit detailed plans to cater to the futuristic needs of the people which will be taken up at the concerned quarters to ensure that bottlenecks are removed and feasible solutions are found. He said that the Committee will submit a detailed report regarding these vital issues to the Prime Minister and to the concerned Ministry so that concrete measures are taken to preserve and rejuvenate the fragile ecology of the region.
Ashwani Kumar stressed that public participation is imperative to save the environment and asked the NGOs and members of civil society to involve the people in this mission.
He said science and environment should be made complimentary and supplementary to each other. "Environment is a legacy we have inherited to pass on to our future generations and its paramount that we protect and preserve it" he added.