The Rural Development Department (RDD) today launched a State-wide drive against the use of polythene under its ‘polythene-free village’ campaign.
Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Abdul Haq, formally launched the campaign from Ganderbal dsitrict by joining the employees and school children at Nagbal, Manigam, Kangan and Mamar villages of the district. He also marched along with the students through the markets of Kangan to raise awareness about the ill effects of the polythene use.
On the occasion, the Minister said in the first week of the campaign, the Department will press into service the manpower under MGNREGA to collect disposed polythene from all the villages which will be later disposed-off properly. He said that the ban on the use of polythene will be enforced strictly. HE said the Government has empowered Block Development Officers (BDO) and Panchayat officers to seize the Polythene and impose fine against violators accordingly.
He asked the officials of Block Development Office and Panchayats to make concerted efforts and ensure the campaign is a success. He said action will be taken against the officers if they fail to enforce ban on polythene.
Abdul Haq said that he will be personally monitoring the drive and asked the officers to submit a weekly progress report in this behalf.
He said planned development of rural areas, making J&K polythene-free, and upkeep and preservation/conservation of the water resources is the need of the hour for achieving the goal of sustainable development.
He also urged Panchayat members to take these initiatives to the grassroots level and appealed them to be proactive in their areas and plant more and more tree saplings for clean and green villages. He said the rampant use polythene has destroyed the eco-system of the valley which is considered to be heaven on the earth.
Abdul Haq said use of polythene has contaminated soil and water and proved fatal for animals as well. He said that polythene bags have been mainly responsible for the clogging of drains in cities and towns.
Stating that the students can be the best ambassadors for campaign against polythene, he appealed the students to be at forefront of the drive and raise awareness about the use of eco-friendly bags instead of polythene ones.
Meanwhile, Secretary RDD, Nirmal Sharma, launched the drive from Purmandal block of Samba district, Koota village in Kathua district and in Jammu district as well. On these occasions, she accompanied the school children and officials in cleanliness drive and also addressed the campaigners stressing on the need to avoid use of polythene for public good.
Director RDD (Kashmir) Gazanfar Hussain and Director Rural Sanitation MM Rehman and other officers launched the campaign at Sheikhpora Budgam and later held an awareness camp which was attended by students and a large number of locals.
Director RDD (Jammu) RK Bhat launched the campaign at Higher Secondary School Bhalwal wherein the attendants took formal oath promising not to use polythene. The Department raised awareness about the ill effects of the polythene and also distributed jute bags among the students and the local participants.
Similar programs were held across the state in all the blocks and Panchayats of the State wherein the officials roped in students, volunteers and Anganwari workers and locals to clean their surroundings and collected polythene from the villages for its proper disposal.