CUK VC pitches for stringent measures to check environmental degradation

CUK VC pitches for stringent measures to check environmental degradation
Photo: Central University of Kashmir

Ganderbal, Apr 5: Central University of Kashmir (CUK) Vice-Chancellor, Prof. A Ravinder Nath, Wednesday underscored the urgent need to safeguard the environment and fragile ecosystem for achieving the Sustained Development Goals (SDGs) as envisioned by the G-20 Nations with respect to environmental protection.

“The need of the hour is to accelerate ecosystem restoration, enriching biodiversity; promoting a sustainable and climate-resilient economy; and encouraging the use of renewable energy,” Prof Ravinder Nath, said while inaugurating a one-day awareness programme on “Environmental Protection,” on the theme “Protect Environment or Perish,” organised by the Department of Zoology, School of Life Sciences, at Tulmulla Campus here, under the G-20 University Connect.

CUK VC said the energy resources available across the world should be utilised judiciously and equitably without compromising future needs. He said the women folk should be sensitized about the need to protect the environment so that the same could trickle to the next generation. Prof. Nath called for collaborative efforts for tackling the increasing environmental degradation and asked the institutions of higher learning and the government departments to join hands in order to check the menace of environmental pollution.

About the construction of permanent structures at the designated Tulmulla campus, the newly appointed Vice-Chancellor said the infrastructure development would be a thrust area and the basic facilities would be provided to the students and staff. On the sidelines of the event, he asked the executing agencies to expedite the construction of permanent structures.

Addressing the gathering, Commissioner/Secretary of, Science and Technology Department, Saurabh Bhagat, said the environmental activism should begin at respective homes. “We should segregate the waste at homes and try to dispose of them properly,” he said.

Bhagat recalled the 2014 floods that deluged the entire Srinagar city and other parts of Kashmir and said the environmental disasters have increased manifold due to continuous human interference. “Rampant deforestation and construction of residential houses in the flood channels have caused huge damage to the environs,” Saurabh Bhagat said. He highlighted the need to use renewable energy in the form of solar panels to prevent further deterioration of the environment by the use of fossil fuels. About the G-20 University Connect, he said, the government is planning a mega event in the coming months, wherein products and patents will be showcased, and asked research scholars and students to come up with the same.

Speaking on the occasion, Registrar, Prof. M Afzal Zargar, said the receding glaciers and increasing sea water level has sounded alarm bells among environmentalists. “Natural disasters including floods, earthquakes are occurring across the globe and people are facing scarcity of water and food in several countries, due to the impact of environmental pollution,” Prof. Zargar said. He said that under the G-20 Presidency, the country has an opportunity to evolve a comprehensive and consensus-driven approach to tackle the challenges of climate change. Prof. Zargar called for sensitization of the youth about the matter pertaining to the environment.

Dean, School of Life Sciences, Prof. Muhammad Yousuf, said the society is at present facing several environmental issues, including, air pollution, environmental and health issues, destruction of biodiversity, use of chemicals, land use degradation, excessive utilization of natural resources and noise pollution, which needs immediate attention from all the stakeholders. He said the objective of the programme was to raise awareness and educate the youth about their role in environmental protection.

Prof Fayaz Ahmad, Head Deptt of Environmental Science, University of Kashmir, Prof. SJS Flora, former director NIPER, (online) Deans of Schools, Director Campuses, Heads and Coordinators of departments, faculty members, research scholars, and students were present at the occasion.

Asst Prof. Dr. Ibraq Khursheed conducted the programme proceedings while Asst Prof. Dr. Muhammad Latief proposed the vote of thanks.

A poster competition was also held in which around 50 students from various departments participated. Bushra Ashraf, Mehnaz Zahoor and Injla Mukhtar were judged 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively. Irfan Noorani and Dr Hameem Mushtaq acted as rapporteur of the event.

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