Centre launches clean-up drive for beaches, water bodies ahead of World Environment Day
The Union environment ministry has launched a drive aimed at cleaning 24 beaches and water bodies as well as 24 polluted river stretches in the run-up to the World Environment Day on June 5. Officials said special focus will be placed on the Yamuna waterfront in Delhi.
The theme of the World Environment Day, to be hosted by India this year, is ‘Beat plastic pollution’. The ministry has formed 19 teams to implement the campaign and allocated Rs 10 lakh in funds for each river stretch, beach and water body. Apart from ministry officials, the teams will have students and local residents as members.
Non-government organisations have also undertaken similar projects, the most famous among them being a campaign by environmentalist Afroz Shah to clean up Versova beach in Mumbai.
Shah’s untiring work earned him the Champion of the Earth award, the highest environmental honour given away by the United Nations. His campaign also found mention in a ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio address delivered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year.
A drive to certify schools as plastic-free was also launched this week. Besides keeping their immediate surroundings green, educational institutions will have to take the lead in promoting the detrimental effects of plastic on the environment, and adopt a water body or ecologically sensitive area that can be rid of such pollution.
A mini-marathon will also be held in Delhi and five other cities on June 3 to raise awareness.