"Vigorous campaign needed to preserve water-bodies"
Polythene use at health resorts to be made unlawful
Describing people as major stakeholders in restoring pristine glory of our water-bodies, Chief Secretary Mr. S. S. Kapur has called for a vigorous campaign for their preservation as well as of other natural resources bestowed on the State. He urged people to come forward and lend supportive hand in government’s initiative to conserve its precious gifts of nature. The Chief Secretary was speaking at a flagging off function of Water Pollution Awareness Campaign-cum-Rally, jointly organized by Department of Tourism, Kashmir, Municipal Corporation and Kashmir Rafting Operators’ Association, here today. Calling for people’s involvement in saving the glory of world-famous Dal lake, Mr. Kapur said that headway has been made in this regard including the much-needed de-weeding process which is being carried out to clean the catchment areas of the lake. He said sincere efforts are needed to be taken by the authorities to accelerate these measures, adding that people have to play their part in the process of conservation of the ecosystem of the State.
Mr. Kapur was categorical in his statement that there is no fun in organizing these events, unless people come forward and understand the importance of eco-friendly measures.
The Chief Secretary said the government is conscious about the importance of both Dal Lake and River Jhelum, adding that efforts are on to pursued the Central government to provide necessary funding for preservation of these water-bodies.
Mr. Kapur said that government is committed to implement various Court directives and said that every measure is taken in consonance with it to restore the beauty of the Dal and other important water-bodies and make them more attractive.
Referring to the issue of use of polythene, the Chief Secretary said that in the recently-held Coordination Committee meeting, it had been decided to impose partial ban on use of polythene which has also been approved by the Chief Minister Mr. Omar Abdullah. He said that shortly rules would be modified so that use of polythene is made unlawful at health resorts of the State. He also said that water-bodies would not be allowed to be used for disposing of non-biodegradable waste products. However, he said, unless people cooperate to enforce these laws, there is little chance of success.
The Chief Secretary expressed optimism that the initiative of preserving the water-bodies would get positive response from the people. He said that we can make some investment individually for preserving the Dal and Jhelum, adding that it is encouraging that J&K Agro Industries has agreed to construct substitute bags to replace the polythene.
Earlier, Commissioner, Srinagar Municipal Corporation, in his speech, said the ban on polythene would be implemented in letter and spirit, adding that new entrepreneurs have come forward to construct alternatives of polythene bags.
In his welcome address, Director Tourism, Kashmir highlighted the importance of preserving natural resources. He sought public support for arresting the menace of polythene, adding the people also have to change their behaviour for preserving these water-bodies.