Namchi, 07 Jul [IPR]: Chief Minister PS Tamang [Golay] launched the State Government’s ambitious ‘A Day for Mother Earth’ initiative at Kitchu Dumra today. He was accompanied by Deputy Speaker Sangay Lepcha, Forest Minister Karma Loday Bhutia, Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, Political Secretary, Advisors, Chief Secretary, Officials, Panchayats and public at large.
At the onset, the Chief Minister planted a Peepal sapling at the complex while the Cabinet Ministers and other dignitaries also planted saplings of various species.
Addressing the gathering, the Chief Minister congratulated the Forest Department for successfully organising this program which was being celebrated all over the state.
He also pointed out that one of the unique features of this program was the dedication of seven minutes in Sikkim from 11AM to 11.07AM when no vehicles, except emergency vehicle, plied on the roads. This gesture was added to reduce air pollution and the State’s carbon footprint, he explained, while adding that this will now be an annual feature.
He shared concern over climate change which was stressing the world and also impacting Sikkim.
The CM emphasised that immediate action should be taken to combat the threat posed by climate change which can result in major natural disasters, droughts and many more irreparable damages.
He said that a resilient long term action plan must be conceptualised to ensure sustainability and to bring about crucial environment transformational change.
He added that the aim of this distinct program was to encourage people to plant an ample number of tress to increase the average green cover in Sikkim.
The Chief Minister also said that the general public must not only rely on Forest Department for plantation drives and should take this up individually as well as it was a trait of being a conscious citizens.
He said that he will be planting about 1,000 saplings and directed the Cabinet Ministers, Chief Secretary, Panchayats to plant 500, 300 and 100 saplings respectively and ensure their survival.
Additionally, he also encouraged the people to plant at least 10 saplings as this would help conserve the environment.
He also informed that the State Government will soon set up recycling projects. For this project to work, he urged the general public to understand the nuances of waste segregation at source as efficient segregation will assist the municipal garbage collectors dump the garbage in a systematic manner.
Sharing his concern over water scarcity problem, the CM said that focus should be laid on rain water harvesting units in the State and announced that initiatives towards this will be commenced soon by the State Government.
The Chief Minister also informed that till date, the State Government has closed down two companies for violation of environment rules and regulations and asserted that any company or institution found breaching any environmental guidelines will be held liable.
Additionally, he announced that Kitchu Dumra will be redeveloped as an open area where people can spend their leisure time.
Addressing the government employees, the Chief Minister advised them to absorb a healthy work culture wherein they can work in an effective and efficient manner.
He also directed the Chief Secretary to float new tenders wherever there was any requirement.
The Forest Minister in turn said that the objective of ‘A day for Mother Earth’ was to preserve the fragile ecology of the state along with spreading awareness about adverse effects of climate change.
He also spoke about various climate issues plaguing the world and added that the public should be mindful and that they should avoid using plastic bags and any other amenities that can hamper the environment.
The Minister said that compensation provided by companies located in Sikkim will be rightfully utilised in saving the environment.
Furthermore, he urged contractors to work in coordination with conservation of the environment as it was extremely vital in today’s world.
PCCF and Principal Secretary Forest, ML Srivastava, presented a brief report on the program and pointed out that today was also the closing day of Van Mahotsav week, pointing out that Sikkim was one of the biodiversity hotspots of distinct vegetation and said that it is our responsibility to maintain these natural resources through various green activities.