Saturday, 7 September 2013

What needs to be done for our environment?

This evening(September 7,2013;Saturday),I had the opportunity to attend  an international event on environment organized by the City Montessori School.It was attended by 65 teams  of students  from Nigeria,Sri Lanka,Bangla Desh , Nepal as also from various states of India.It was a delightful, meaningful and well-organized event.I have witnessed very few events of this kind , where the message was driven home to everyone present, without any doubt.I was asked to say a "few words".What follows is a summary of what I spoke  there.
                               Chief Seattle said:"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors.we borrow it from our children."Chief Seattle was the person after whom city of Seattle is founded.Seattle , the city of Microsoft,Amazon.com,Boeing and Star Bucks , is clean and green , as i found in my visit to this city in May this year.What Chief Seattle meant was  that we must have an attitude that this Earth is to be preserved and made cleaner and greener for the posterity.
                                      Environment has to be conserved by the government as well as by the citizens.Neither the government alone , nor the citizenry alone can do it .It has to be a combined effort.
                                    At government level , it is muti-departmental,multi-disciplinary  area.As many as fourteen departments are involved as follows:
1.Environment.
2.Forests.
3.Transport.
4.Housing/town and country planning.
5.Urban development/Urban local bodies.
6.Power.
7.Non-conventional energy.
8.Industry.
9.Agriculture.
10.Panchayati Raj/Rural local bodies.
11.Health/family welfare.
12.Medical education.
13.Education.
14.Public Works,Roads, and Buildings.
So high level of skills of co-ordination are required to get results out of these fourteen departments.
                      in addition , there are a large number of laws and rules relating to pollution control and environment protection .One has to really struggle hard to keep oneself updated on these legal provisions.Some of the important Acts and Rules are as below:                 
1.The water(The Prevention and Control of Pollution)Act,1974.
2.The Air(Prevention and Control of pollution)Act,1981.
3.The Environment (Protection)Act , 1986.
4.The hazardous Wastes(management , handling and transboundary movement)rules,2008.
5.The Bio-Medical Waste(Management and handling)Rules,1998.
6.The Plastics Manufacture , Sale and Usage Rules,1999.
7.The Municipal Solid wastes(Management and Handling) Rules,2000.
8.The Noise Pollution(Regulation and control)Rules,2000.
9.The Batteries(management and handling)Rules,2001.
10.Energy Conservation act ,2001.
                      A third  aspect of environment is to work out a comprehensive environmental pollution index.Central Pollution Control Board  with IIT , New Delhi worked out a Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index(CEPI) based on air , water and land pollution .According to this              
 study,eleven most polluted  cities/industrial clusters/areas in UP:
Critically Polluted(CEPI is 70 or above) . 
1. Ghaziabad . 87.37.
2.Singrauli .81.73.
3.Noida . 78.90
4.Kanpur  . .78.09
5.Agra . 76.48.
6.Varanasi-Mirzapur . 73.79
These six areas are critically polluted.
Severely polluted areas;
7Moradabad ..64.71
8.Aligarh . .63.83.
9.Firozabad . .60.51.
Polluted;
10.Mathura . 59.98
11.Meerrut . 59.38
The state government has  got 52.5 million trees planted in the last 3 months and has developed 60 green lungs in 58 districts , with areas ranging from 50 acres in many districts  to 1000 acres in Etawah. It has decided to go ahead  for  declaring Pilibhit Forests as Tiger reserve.
               Here is my list for what a common citizen can and should do to preserve and improve environment .
1.Enhance the green cover.
2.Learn and implement three R's of environment:recycle,Reuse,Reduce.
3.Adopt an eco-friendly way of living and dying.Make green buildings, do rainwater harvesting, consume less water, conserve energy and practice ecological intelligence.
4.Say "Yes" to gender equality in all walks of life from education to providing washrooms .This will reduce population explosion.
5.Education has no meaning without learning to conserve environment.education and environment should be taught together.
6.Maintain highest standards of cleanliness and non-pollution.
7Respect diversity and bio-diversity.
8.Use eco-friendly transport,public transport and pooled transport.
What is needed is a belief system and an attitude about environment  in every person on the above lines.