A team led by EcoAmritsar which had gone to Pakistan to find synergies between Lahore and Amritsar in ecological space returned on Saturday evening.
The visit was a Centre for Reconciliation & Development (CDR) initiative. In a five-day session held at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), experts dwelled on various issues.
The effort was to create a link between Mumbai and Karachi on the one hand; and Amritsar and Lahore on the other.
The delegation from Amritsar comprised Gunbir Singh, chairman WWF & EcoAmritsar; Tarundeep Singh, project administrator; and Prof Sarbjot Behl of GNDU.
The Lahore team comprised Kamil Khan Mumtaz, Ali Hasnain Sayed of WWF Pakistan, Ahmad Rafay Alam and others.
Presentations were also invited from Prof Rai Niaz Ahmad, vice-chancellor of Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agricultural University, Khalid Majeed of Lahore Waste Management Company, among others.
“The very fact that South Asia, especially this sub-continent, is at the beginning of the developmental curve and lays an opportunity for corrective action. We need to learn to work together and achieve a better tomorrow,” a delegation member said.
WWF Pakistan and India had worked across the border on the Hudiara Canal, which pollutes both Amritsar and Lahore before joining the Ravi in Pakistan. The endeavour has fructified into a major endeavour to encompass and concretise the canal, treat the effluent laden water before it enters Pakistan.
The project in India is at an advanced stage of progression, and shall soon process the tannery polluted inflows to Pakistan.
The EcoAmritsar model of interfaith-community participation in better city management was appreciated by all.
Sarvjit Brar of Khalsa College Public School, Neera Sharma DAV Public School and Anita Bhalla from SL Bhavan School were also part of the delegation.
The final meeting in the three-conference series will be held in Amritsar this summer.