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Make Assam the country’s green hub: Sonowal
Staff Correspondent

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal along with other dignitaries releasing a newsletter published by the Pollution Control Board, Assam at the State- level celebration of World Environment Day at Silchar, on Wednesday. – UB Photos
 SILCHAR, June 5 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Wednesday urged the people of the State to step up and shoulder the responsibility of making Assam the green hub of the country. In his words, if 3.30 crore citizens residing in the State plant at least two saplings, as many as 6.60 crore trees will flourish across the State in a year.

Addressing a gathering at the State-level celebration of World Environment Day here at the Police Parade Ground amidst inclement weather and torrential rain, Sonowal said, “the State is blessed with Nature’s bounty. However, along with the rest of the world, the menace of air pollution is gradually becoming a cause of concern and hence we must shoulder the task of making Assam a green hub. Each one of us must plant two trees so that as many as 6.60 crore trees blossom in the area.”

In the programme organised jointly by the Department of Forest and Environment and Pollution Control Board, the Chief Minister released a newsletter, planted saplings and performed briksha pujan by offering prayers to different medicinal plants along with Departmental Minister Parimal Suklabaidya and Silchar MP Dr Rajdeep Roy. The Chief Minister also visited the stalls put by the Divisional Forest Office and gave away prizes to the winners of contests conducted among school children on environmental awareness.

Earlier, wishing the people on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, Sonowal stressed upon the need to preserve the purity of the rivers Barak and Brahmaputra and urged the people to work towards enhancing the blissful beauty of the valleys which shall draw tourists attention in the region.

Minister of Forests and Environment Parimal Suklabaidya, Silchar MP Dr Rajdeep Roy, MLA Dilip Kumar Paul also spoke on the occasion. AM Singh, PCCF, Department of Forests delivered the welcome address. Prof Parthankar Choudhury, head, Department of Ecology and Environment Sciences at Assam University Silchar delivered a presentation on the ways to avoid environmental degradation.

Our Tezpur Correspondent adds: Various organisations including Sonitpur Forest Department and the Pollution Control Board today observed the World Environment Day with varied programmes.

The Sonitpur Forest Department held a daylong programme at Pitahkhowa Chandranath Sharma Bhawan for creating an opinion towards conserving nature. Altogether 27,700 saplings were distributed among various social organisations and school going students. An awareness meeting was also held under the aegis of noted social worker Kamal Bora wherein addressing the gathering, DFO Sonitpur, Ranjit Konwor said that without greenery nobody can survive. “So we should be conscious in saving our nature and greenery, every year we plant thousands of saplings, but due to the lack of nurturing, we fail to get a full grown tree and that is why I appeal to one and all to take care of the saplings that are planted by us until they grow up.” He said that in Sonitpur district, saplings are available in the Forest Department’s two major nurseries at Dharikati and Goroimari.

On the other hand, the honorary wildlife warden, Sonitpur Saurav Barkataki in his speech mentioned that due to the degradation of nature or greenery animal-human conflict is growing day by day. “So we should save our nature by planting more and more saplings, making our surroundings green”, he said.

The Sonitpur Pollution Control Board too observed the day by organising various competitions including, quiz, art and debate for creating awareness among the students in particular and among the common people in general.

Our Kaziranga Correspondent adds: “There is a need to have a commitment from all sections of people in a society to reduce carbon emission, including minimisation of use of vehicles, to keep the environment clean and pollution free. It is equally important to move on foot instead of using any vehicle as far as possible to keep our ecosystem balanced,” said Siva Kumar, Director of Kaziranga National Park-cum-Tiger Reserve during his deliberation today while observing the World Environment Day at the Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) under Wildlife Trust of India at Borjuri in Kaziranga.

Informing this correspondent, Kumar said that there would be a separate and special zone where some very important species of plants which have both medicinal value as well as religious significance would be planted. He said altogether 60 different species of the plants including Rudrak, Lataku, Amla were being planted which would be showcased before the visitors coming to Kaziranga National Park. This way it would enrich the knowledge of the visitors including students about the significance of various species of plants in our society. The programme was organised by the Kaziranga National Park authority which was held at CWRC.

Talking to this correspondent, Uttam Saikia, the Wildlife Warden said that today’s programme on World Environment Day was attended by many young students of the nearby Panbari village who voluntarily appeared at the meet without receiving any invitation, which was a very encouraging sign as these students who were highly motivated towards the conservation of nature would actively take up a responsible role in the future while caring for their surroundings. This would also generate awareness among other people also towards conservation of flora and fauna, said Saikia.

The meet was also attended by Lekhika Samaroh Society of Bokakhat where many eminent writers including Suporna Saikia Bordoloi laid stress on keeping the environment clean and pollution free for the future generations.

Meanwhile, the Day was observed in many schools in Kaziranga including Rising Sun English School, Kohora where students and teachers actively participated and planted saplings.

Our Mangaldai Correspondent adds: In connection with the celebration of the World Environment Day, a prominent nature organisation of the State ‘Aranyak’ and local organisation ‘Pacific Unit’ jointly organised an orientation workshop on the burning topic “Climate Change’ here at the Uttar Mangaldai High School.

Speaking on the occasion, as one of the resource persons Tapan Sarma, Vice Principal of North Gauhati College, Kamrup Rural explained in length about the effect of climate change, global warming on the nature and the possible threats to the world civilisation in the coming days. He said, “We could see how the increase of earth’s temperature by nearly one degree Celsius over the last 100 years has left many islands submerged under the sea and if the temperature increases by two or three degrees more, then places like Assam would turn into a desert.” He further stated that if we fail to control the increase of carbon dioxide in our environment by afforestation, preserving the natural wetlands or by means of any other technology, we can’t expect to save our planet from the adverse effects of climate change.

The workshop conducted by Jayanta Pathak, Manager, Environment Education and Capacity Building section of Aranyak also witnessed several other speakers including prominent environment writer Juri Baruah, subject matter specialist from KVK, Baksa Dr Debojit Deka, Project Manager, District Disaster Management Authority, Darrang Jagadish Bhattacharya and senior journalist Mayukh Goswami presenting discussions on various other relevant topics on climate change viz., adaptation and resilience building in context of gender, in context of livestocks and disaster and hazards, local context of climate change, definition and reason of climate change etc. The daylong workshop supported by ASTEC earlier began with the introductory speech by Bidyut Deka of Pacific Unit. The workshop was participated by students, teachers, guardians, elected local Panchayat representatives, senior citizens and NGO members among others.

Our Morigaon Correspondent adds: Along with the rest of the country, the World Environment Day was observed in Morigaon district today with several programmes in every part of Morigaon district.

An awareness meeting was held along the bank of the historic Charon Beel under the auspices of Morigaon district administration in collaboration with Srimanta Sankardev Sangha’s Morigaon district unit. Addressing the gathering, Lenin Deka, social worker appealed to the people to protect the environment at any cost so that the human civilisation may continue. Rama Kanta Deori, MLA, Morigaon appealed to the people to create an eco-friendly environment in Morigaon district. Participating in the programme Rituraj Bora, Deputy Commissioner, Morigaon asked the officials, students and youths for massive plantation along the side of the Jagiroad-Morigaon PWD road. Swapnanil Deka, SP, Morigaon also participated in the function. As many as 500 saplings were planted along the sides of the Jagiroad-Morigaon PWD road.

The Morigaon unit of AASU today distributed 500 saplings among the students in Morigaon town. On the other hand, Anti-Global Warming Society, Morigaon conferred ‘Green Morigaon Award’ to Morigaon Girls HS School. At Laobhurunga, a remote tribal village of the district, the students of Swahid Paharam Bordoloi High School took out a procession-cum-massive plantation programme in the area where thousands of saplings were planted.

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