THE STATE government has decided to formulate a new environment policy. The ministry of environment, UP, has invited suggestions that could be incorporated in the proposed policy, the rough draft of which is available at the UP Pollution Control Board website.
“Further, the state environment ministry has decided to set up a toll free number through which people could send in their suggestions and register their complaints,” said Ujjawal Raman Singh, State Environment Minister while talking to the Hindustan Times after inaugurating a workshop on ‘Legal awareness and youth participation in environmental compliance and enforcement’ at the Indian Institute of Management-Lucknow (IIM-L) on Sunday.
The workshop organised by the Indian Fulbright Alumni Foundation and jointly sponsored by Public Affairs Section of the US Department of States, American Embassy and IIM-L, is being attended by youths from UP, Uttaranchal, MP, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Jharkhand.
Earlier, speaking as the chief guest, the minister said no government initiative could be successful without public participation.
“It’s true that government officials too on their part lack the basic knowledge about how serious the environment problem is and its ramifications in times to come. I had convened a meeting of officials of various municipal corporations recently and it was clear that they lack even basic awareness on environment and related issues. But, still until and unless people too realise their responsibility all welfare measures would not yield any result,” he said.
Singh said the State government now had decided to identify lands in various districts to increase the state’s ever depleting green cover. “We are doing our bit with the resources at our command. I am personally trying my best to create the necessary awareness in this regard,” he said.
Talking about public responsibility, the minister said until ‘user-charge’ was levied on the people, there would not be sufficient resources. “People often say that the sewage treatment plant is not functioning. As and when we get complaints, we act on them. But, for solid waste management and other environmental problems, we have to have the support of the people. In developed countries, user-charge is a common thing. Here, the very mention of it would raise eye brows,” he added.
Earlier, programme director Prof Dharmendra S Sengar from IIM-L, who spent over eight months as senior Fulbright fellow at the George Washington University’s Law School, said, “The next world war would be due to paucity of natural and environmental resources like water if corrective steps are not initiated immediately. It is in this light that we are taking up this awareness programme for the youths.”
Prof Sengar along with Prof Roshan L Raina would be conducting training programmes aimed at creating legal awareness on environmental issues amongst about 100 motivated youths and NGOs working in the field of environment etc.
This workshop would be followed by three other workshops.
Dean, planning and development, IIM-L, Prof Vipul was also present on the occasion.