PALAMPUR: Palampur Welfare and Environment Protection Forum (PWEPF ) today welcomed the statement of Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal that environment of the state would be protected at any cost and no one would be allowed to play havoc with nature as had happened during five years regime of the congress party.
PWEPF which held its emergency meeting here today hailed the statement of Mr. Dhumal. Ravinder Sood, President of PWEPF while addressing media persons in local press club said that for the first time any Chief Minister of the state had expressed concern over devastation of natural resources , rise illegal and unscientific mining and felling of trees in the state by companies executing power projects and cement plants.
Palampur Welfare and Environment Protection Forum (PWEPF) a forceful environmentalist group of the district have already apprised the new BJP government over the increase in illegal and unscientific mining and quarrying in Kangra district during congress regime, it had stated that no law exists here to check such illegal activities and entire government machinery in the district had become a silent spectators to all such misdeeds.
Mr. Sood urged the Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal to forumulate and transparent environment policy and include top environmentalists of the country and local environmentalists who could give necessary guidelines to the state government from time to time, if Chief Minister was really keen to save environment of the state and melting glaciers. He said if no serious efforts were made the not only Kangra valley but entire state would soon face major environmental disaster.
Forum said institutions like Pollution Control Boards should also be set up at district level and state government should to give representation to the members of local bodies, social and voluntary organizations which have been making serious efforts to save environment of the state and educating the people about the ill effects of environmental degradation. These organizations could play key role in this field. PWEPF said in such matters public participation was must, if the state government was really keen to protect the environments of the state.
Mr. Sood regretted that despite assurances given by the former Chief Minister Vir Bhadara Singh to the members of the PWEPF, that the state government would come out with a legislation and soon promulgate an ordinance to check the illegal and unscientific mining and quarrying in the state but no headway was made in this regard during five years regime of congress.
PWEPF said illegal and unscientific mining and quarrying in the streams and khuds of state particularly in Kangra district had become a major environmental hazard which had posed serious threats to the existence of one hundred drinking and irrigation water supply schemes. If mining and quarrying is not checked soon these water supply schemes would go dry in next five years as the water level of these streams had already gone low.
Forum said it was most unfortunate that officials of forest, mining and industries department had been encouraging quarrying and mining and issuing lease permits of quarries and khuds to politically influenced persons and contractors by setting a side all rules and regulations made in this regard.
Ravinder Sood, President of the Forum appealed the Chief Minister ureged the Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal that in such matters no politics should come and stringent laws should be made to deal with the present situation.
Photo: A JCB MACHINE IS OPENLY FLOUTING THE BAN IN BANER RIVER NEAR KANGRA.
A senior journalist from Palampur.