In order to conserve rivers in the state, the Madhya Pradesh government would run a campaign next year akin to the recent Narmada Sewa Yatra by planting saplings along the banks of rivers Betwa, Tapti and Kshipra. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said a campaign will be launched with people’s support to conserve these rivers. “We have undertaken Narmada Sewa Yatra for five months to conserve the lifeline of Madhya Pradesh and made it a mass movement by roping in people. On the same lines we will launch a campaign with people’s support to conserve Betwa, Kshipra and Tapti among others in a bid to set an example nationwide,” chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said.
Chouhan was addressing the inaugural function of the two-day-long National Green Tribunal’s Central Zone’s conference. He also shared that on July 6, Madhya Pradesh created a record by planting 7.14 crore saplings on the sides of Narmada river. Now it will also be done on the banks of other rivers in the state, he said while advocating for sustainable development. The chief minister said this is the time to think seriously about protecting environment for future generations. “We have to associate people with it in a major way as government alone won’t be able to do it. To save environment and future generations, NGT will have to take tough measures and its efforts have started yielding positive results,” Chouhan said.
Addressing the function, Chhattisgarh chief minister, Raman Singh suggested preserving saplings of those medicinal plant varieties that are on the verge of extinction. Singh advocated for sustainable development but not at the cost of environment especially in states like Chhattisgarh which have 45 per cent forest cover. However, he expressed concern over undue delay in granting permission to those projects which are environment friendly as that resulted in substantial enhancement in their original cost.
Singh also praised Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s Ujjwala scheme that provided LPG connections to over five crore poor persons. It was a visionary step as that will help in saving large number of trees. NGT Chairperson, Justice Swatantra Kumar exhorted for adopting global thinking to protect and conserve environment. He informed that nearly 1,200 pacts were made to protect environment, but they would be of no use if they are not implemented in right spirit.
Society should become sensitive towards this issue by participating in conserving nature in a big way. NGT’s Central Zone’s judicial member Daleep Singh said the green bench is working towards sensitising the youth towards environment. It has provided internship facility to more than 700 students from across the country to raise awareness on the issue, he added.