CM bats for launching a mass movement to preserve water and environment in the state
Underlining the need for providing a sustainable environment to the future generations, the Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Monday gave a clarion call for launching a mass movement to preserve water and environment in the state.
SAS Nagar (Mohali), June 5, 2023: Underlining the need for providing a sustainable environment to the future generations, the Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Monday gave a clarion call for launching a mass movement to preserve water and environment in the state.
The Chief Minister, while chairing a state level function to mark World Environment Day, expressed deep concern over the depleting ground water table and polluting environment in the state. He said that immediate remedial steps are required to save the only precious and scarce natural resource of Punjab in terms of water along with checking the environmental pollution. Bhagwant Mann said that this cannot be done by the government alone but people’s participation is must by launching a vigorous mass awareness campaign to sensitize them about its significance especially in wake of global warming.
The Chief Minister said that Punjab is a sacred land of great Gurus and saints, who have shown us the way to preserve the environment. While quoting the Gurbani, he said that the verse ‘Pawan Guru, Paani Pitaah, Mata Dharat Mahat’ explains how our great Gurus have equated air (pawan) with teacher, water (paani) with father and land (dharat) with mother. Unfortunately, Bhagwant Mann said that the words of the great Gurus have not been honoured by us, as we have polluted all these three, he added.
The Chief Minister said that now the time has come when we must imbibe the teachings of Gurbani in letter and spirit to restore the glory of the state. While slamming the opposition parties for blatantly ignoring the environmental issues, He said that as water, air and land had no votes so these leaders ignored them. Bhagwant Mann said that due to this massive pollution and degradation of these natural resources took place thereby causing an irreparable loss to the society adding that after the formation of the AAP government in the state steps have been taken to save the environment.
Showing deep concern over the gravity of the emerging situation following the fast depleting water table, the Chief Minister said almost all the blocks in the state are in the dark zone as far as the groundwater is concerned. Bhagwant Mann said that it has happened due to reckless pumping of water in fields adding that the trend needs to be checked immediately so that our future generations do-not have to strive for water.
The Chief Minister said that the state government is taking massive steps for optimum utilisation of the canal water to save the groundwater. He said that at present Punjab is using only 33%-34% of its canal water adding that this will be enhanced in the coming days. Bhagwant Mann envisioned that if Punjab can enhance the canal water utilisation to 60% in first phase then nearly four lakh tubewells out of total 14 lakh can be stopped thereby helping in saving water.
The Chief Minister also cited the example of Telangana for water conservation and said that it is a revolutionary model that is aimed at recharging the water table holistically. He said that the Telangana government has constructed small dams in the villages for conserving the ground water across the state. Bhagwant Mann said that as a result of this the ground water level has increased upto four metres in the villages.
On this occasion, the Chief Minister dedicated the newly constructed ultra-modern building having world class instrumentation to the Punjab Biotechnology Incubator (PBTI) in Knowledge City. He envisioned that the unique facility will be extensively used for testing of food, agri, water, environment and health sectors for pesticides residues, heavy metals, food additives/adulterants etc. Apart from this, Bhagwant Mann also flagged off a Mobile van for onsite testing of food and water samples, developed by PBTI under Mission Tandrust Punjab.
In addition, an amount of Rs. 50 Crore for undertaking various Eco-Restoration Works was also allotted by the Chief Minister to the Department of Local Government (Rs. 45.45 Crore), Department of Rural Development & Panchayats (Rs. 3.92 Crore) and Department of Punjab Pollution Control Board (Rs. 63 Lacs). He also virtually inaugurated the Electricity Gallery at Pushpa Gujral Science City, Kapurthala and a Paddy Straw based Palletization Unit, Patiala developed with the technical and financial support of Punjab State Council for Science & Technology (PSCST).
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister also conferred first edition of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Punjab State Annual Environment Award today to four organizations namely Gram Panchayat, Village Balloh, District Bathinda in the category of “Gram Panchayat”; Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar in the category of “Institution”; ITC Ltd (Foods Division), Kapurthala in the category of “Industry” and Kheti Virasat Mission, Jaitu, District Faridkot in the category of “NGO/Social Organization”. The Award included a cash prize of Rs. 1 Lac, a certificate of appreciation and silver plate memento to each organization. Bhagwant Mann also felicitated six grass root level innovators involved in development of low cost indigenous technologies and processes with their own ingenuity and know-how and also.
The Chief Minister also distributed Allotment Letters under the internship scheme of PBTI for skilling students of life sciences stream in latest high end techniques & instrumentation facilities and under PBTI’s Incubation Scheme for boosting startup ecosystem in the area of life sciences, biotechnology and allied sectors to transforms their ideas into commercially viable solutions.
On the occasion Cabinet Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer, Rajya Sabha MP Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal and others were also present.