Port Blair, July 2: On the occasion of the celebration of 70th Van Mahotsav, a ceremonial tree planting programme was organized by the Department of Environment & Forests at Govt. Sec. School, Calicut here this morning. The Chief Secretary, A&N Administration, Mr. Chetan B. Sanghi was the chief guest on the occasion while the PCCF, A&N Islands, Mr. Tarun Coomar was the guest of honour. The programme was also attended by the PCCF (WL), Mr. DM Shukla, other senior officers of the Administration, Department of Environment & Forests, Botanical Survey of India and Zoological Survey of India, Chairperson, PBMC, Smti. Anusia Devi, Pradhan, Calicut Gram Panchayat, Smt. Ashna Majeed, Pramukh, Prothrapur, Mr. Apurba Chandra Roy, PRI members, students and staff of GSS Calicut.
Addressing the gathering, the Chief Secretary lauded the PCCF for organizing the programme at school level, wherein the message of environment consciousness and protection can best be conveyed to the young minds, who are the future of tomorrow. Throwing light on the impact of global warming and environmental challenges, being faced now a day, the Chief Secretary remarked that the younger generation needs to be enlightened about the importance of environmental protection and tree plantation and the Prime Minister also desires that children be made aware of environment protection. He expressed happiness that through the Department of Environment & Forests, various schools will be covered and students will be enlightened about the importance of trees and greeneries, during the month long celebration of Van Mahotsav.
About A&N Islands, the Chief Secretary stated that even though, the Islands are already green with forest cover, there is need to safeguard the existing environment, so as to combat the challenges in future. Informing about the environment friendly initiatives taken up by the Administration such as the introduction of electric vehicles in Islands, the Chief Secretary said, the Administration will also introduce electric three wheelers, which will ply between Cellular Jail to Corbyn’s Cove and also at Swaraj Dweep and Shaheed Dweep. Efforts are also being made by the Power Department to switch from diesel to LNG and Solar for generation of power in the Islands, he added. The Chief Secretary also informed that the ban on usage of plastic bottles have already been introduced in various Govt. functions and in the days to come, efforts will be made to completely ban plastic in the Islands; whilst its arrival in Isles and disposal will also be checked.
The Chief Secretary further informed about the implementation of Solid Waste Management in Isles and segregation of waste at source level through the Department of Rural Development and PBMC, which is moving in the right direction. He exhorted the students to create awareness on protection of environment, segregation of waste and solid waste management, in their respective homes too. The Chief Secretary also assured to look into the issues put forth by the Pradhan and the Principal.
The Chief Secretary and other dignitaries also planted saplings of fruits and shade bearing plants besides ornamental and medicinal plants on the occasion. Around 200 saplings were planted in the school premises.
Speaking on the occasion, the PCCF, Mr. Tarun Coomar threw light on the importance of the observance of Van Mahotsav. He also touched upon ground water crisis in various parts of the country and remarked that in A&N Islands such issue is not prevalent. However, the need for conservation of Isles’ greenery cannot be overlooked, he said and called upon all to work towards greening the Islands.
The Pradhan, Calicut Gram Panchayat, Smt. Ashna Majeed also expressed her views on the occasion. Students from KV-I presented a welcome song.
Earlier, the Vice Principal, GSS Calicut, Smt. Jahan Ara Ali welcomed the gathering while the programme culminated with the vote of thanks proposed by the DFO (FE&PD), Mr. Ayub Hassan.