Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Dr. Afroz Ahmed, member, Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) New Delhi, has said that environment has to be given the same importance as religion and coordinated efforts should be made for its protection.
Make efforts to preserve and renovate old rivers, drains, wells, stepwells etc. plant more and more trees, he said. Concerted efforts should be made to stop pollution.
Appreciating the work being done to preserve the environment in the district in compliance with the orders and instructions of the National Green Tribunal, he said that the district has become a model in this regard in the whole country.
Dr Ahmed was addressing a joint meeting of the departments related to environmental protection held here at the collector office on Friday. Collector Ilayaraja T, IMC commissioner Harshika Singh, forest officer Narendra Pandwa, additional police commissioner Rajesh Hingankar and officers of other related departments were present in the meeting.
Dr Ahmed discussed the district environment plan, orders and instructions issued by NGT and ongoing works in the areas of air quality, solid waste management, bio-medical waste management, e-waste management, air quality management etc.
He said that the district is showing a new path to the country for environmental protection. He said that the city is on top in the country in the field of cleanliness but added that special attention should be paid towards cleanliness in the surrounding areas of the city as well. He instructed to completely ban the use of single-use plastic.
He said that excessive exploitation of groundwater has significantly deepened the water level thus continuous monitoring regarding permission for groundwater use has become mandatory. He added that measures to replenish groundwater is the need of the day and said that a campaign must be launched to this end.
He talked about the importance of rivers and their catchment areas and the need to protect them adding that designated areas on both sides of the river must be transformed into a no-development zone and no encroachment should be allowed in this area.
Collector Ilayaraja and IMC commissioner Harshika Singh gave information about initiatives made for the protection of the environment of the district and the action being taken under the orders and guidelines of NGT.