DAINIK NATION BUREAU
Addressing a conference of Chief Minister’s and parliamentarians from Himalayan states at Shimla on Friday CM Trivendra Singh Rawat said that there is need to discuss about the geographical circumstances and problems faced by the Himalayan states. He said that such conferences will help plan policies which would make the Himalayas and the people living there safe. He further said that Himalayan states besides protecting the Himalayas are also fulfilling their responsibility towards environment protection and giving valuable air so necessary for life. “Himalayas do not need us but we need Himalayas which is also important from strategic point of view,” he said.
He said that Himalayas is not only a geographical entity but an important element that directly affecting our culture, philosophy and life. The 2500 kilometer long Himalayas is known as the forehead of the country. He said that everybody is concerned about the ill effects of climate change on Himalayas. “The Himalayas which had been nurturing us from centuries is in danger due to us. We are forced to think that conservation of Himalayas is utmost important,” he said.
Chief Minister Mr. Trivendra Singh Rawat said a report of parliamentary panel indicated that global warming has adversely affected 968 glaciers in the Himalayan region. The rivers originating from Himlayas are in danger due to this. A total of eleven rivers originates from Himalayas and 65 per cent of the water to quench the thirst of country comes from these rivers. Out of total forested areas of the country, 67 per cent are in the Himalayas and these forests contribute to uninterrupted water and healthy air.
The Himalayas act as a protective shield from strategic point of view. He said that due to human interference, agricultural land is decreasing. Chief Minister said that agricultural land has reduced by 50 per cent in Uttarakhand and is 7.01 lakh hectares only. “We have to think that after taking so much from nature what we are returning back. The survival of Himalayas is dependent on its’ life, diversity and naturalness. We have to protect it and it is our responsibility to enrich it. The participating of everyone is necessary,” he said.
He said that to protect our resources, we have started a small initiative in Uttarakhand by determining to rejuvenate two rivers namely Rispana and Kosi. The public has wholeheartedly participated in the campaign. “ On July 22, on a single day, 2.50 lakh saplings were planted on the banks of river Rispana and similarly 1.67 lakh saplings were planted within one hour on Kosi river bank . This was possible only due to awareness and large scale public participation,” he added.
Chief Minister said that in a bid to save Himalayas we have given task to every District Magistrate to own a river, a rivulet or water body and make efforts to conserve and preserve these. He said that by plantation we can retain their water bearing capacities. By constructing and taking care of ‘Chal-Khal “ in hilly areas in the state, we can increase the water retention capacity of the hills. He further said that polythene is doing utmost harm to the Himalayan ecology and we have to avoid it’s use. To make coordination between Himalayan resources and people, we have decided to encourage organic products. On the thoughts of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, we want to turn Uttarakhand into a fully organic state. Himalayan fibres, cereals, grains and fruits are being encouraged. “ Our steps may look small but to save Himalayas, to save its ecology and to make the Himalayan system survive, these would have far reaching effects,” he said.
He said that to fulfil our needs and to decrease pressure on the resources, we have focused on small hydro-electric projects and solar energy. Uttarakhand has appointed 10,000 “Aapda Mitras” to provide immediate relief and help during natural disasters
Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Chief Ministers of other Himalayan states were present.