Patiala (Raftaar News Bureau) : On the occasion of World Environment Day, Sh. Alok Shekhar, IAS, Principal Secretary, Science, Technology and Environment released 10000 PPE Coverall kits costing Rs 40 Lacs, provided by Punjab Pollution Control Board for distribution amongst the Govt. Health care facilities of the State under the GEF-UNIDO-MoEFCC Project on Environmentally Sound Management of Medical Wastes.
On this occasion, a webinar was jointly organized by Punjab Pollution Control Board and Pushpa Gujral Science City which was also streamed on YouTube Channel. Prof. SS Marwaha, Chairman, PPCB and Er. Krunesh Garg, Member Secretary, PPCB were also present. Dr. Neelima Jeerath, Director General, Pushpa Gujaral Science City hosted the webinar. Around 100 students across the State along with Officers & Industrialists participated in the webinar.
While giving inaugral address during the occasion, Sh. Alok Shekhar expressed that Human actions, including deforestation, encroachment on wildlife habitats, intensified agriculture, and acceleration of climate change, have pushed nature beyond its limit. If we continue on this path, biodiversity loss will have severe implications for humanity, including the collapse of food and health systems. The emergence of COVID-19 has underscored the fact that, when we destroy biodiversity, we destroy the system that supports human life. Nature is sending us a message which we need to decode and take collective action. He brought out that management and treatment of biomedical waste generated from Covid-19 patients in this stage of pandemic is of utmost importance. In the state of Punjab there are five common biomedical waste treatment facilities authorized for collection, transportation, treatment and disposal of biomedical waste. Around 105 tons of Covid-19 biomedical waste has so far been collected and treated by 5 common biomedical treatment facilities in the state.
Speaking about the impact of COVID-19 on Environment & Bio-Resources, the Chairman PPCB Dr. Satwinder Singh Marwaha said that theme of this year’s World Environment Day is “Bio-diversity” and the slogan is “Time for Nature”. Further he said that it has become more important to Nurture the Environment at this time when the entire world is fighting the pandemic COVID-19. Nature provide us Food to Eat, Air to Breathe and Water to drink which represents the environment one way or the other. Dr. Marwaha also stressed the need to improve quality of river water as industries were not only the source of water pollution but also the domestic waste was a significant polluter. Closing of industries and ban on transports due to corona virus had a greater positive impact on air pollution than on water pollution. He also urged the participants to sensitize the people especially the farming community not to burn stubble/crop residue, which not only damage the soil texture by affecting its fertility besides polluting the environment as well as causing harms to human health.
During the occasion Shri. J. Justin Mohan, Secretary National Biodiversity Authority, Govt of India spoke about regulatory framework of biodiversity management in India and Dr. Chandrika Bahadur, Director, SDG Academy spoke on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. PGSC also organized Poetry and Declamation competitions at the occasion which received an overwhelming response from students and general public.