SRINAGAR: The Institution of Engineers India (IEI) Tuesday organized a seminar titled ‘Beat plastic pollution’ on the eve of World Environment Day here in the auditorium of IEI, Jammu and Kashmir State Centre, Sonwarbagh.
Those who participated include engineers, environmental experts, and students of various schools, colleges and Universities participated.
Various speakers discussed the need of solid waste management and preservation of wetlands and other water bodies. A paper on the theme of the seminar was also presented by Er. Mohammad Ashraf Fazilli, who is the Chairman of IEI J&K.
Javaid Mustufa Mir, Minister for Disaster Management, Relief Rehabilitation & Reconstruction and Floriculture who presided over as the Chief Guest of the seminar in his address said that the department is “keen interested” in waste management programs.
“We are looking for ways to stop shrinking of wetlands and other water bodies due to garbage. Solid waste management is one way so that the waste can be segregated and should not be dumped in the water bodies,” Mir said.
Mir while answering to the questions raised by the speakers about the government’s preparedness, in the wake of heavy rain forecast in Kashmir, said that they are “fully prepared”.
“We are purchasing all the equipments including boats to confront any untoward incident. Rupees fifty lakh has been sanctioned to each District Commissioner for district disaster fund,” Mir said.
“We have also appointed team of consultants for Tawi and Jehlum rivers who will give their report on how to avoid flood situation. We are trying our best to ensure the safety of the people,” he added.
Er. Khursheed Ahmad Ganai, Chief Information Commissioner J&K, who was the Guest of Honor, advised about the need of “Voluntary efforts” by the people.
“Garbage is everywhere, in villages and the city, but what are we people doing. We are always blaming others but that is not the solution, we have to help ourselves and make voluntary efforts and come forward to do our part,” Khursheed said.
“I have seen hundreds of RTI’s filed in my tenure but not a single one among them is about environment. People should file RTI’s and ask questions about the work status in the different projects,” he added.
Khursheed also suggested starting manufacturing paper bags on large scale to get rid of the plastic bags from Kashmir.
Experts, in order make environmental awareness a success, suggested the need to introduce environment as a subject since the primary level in schools and termed children as “force of change” that can bring revolution if “caught young”.
Rahi Riyaz Ahmad, Chairman Ahsan Foundation and Arjumand Hussain Talib, Editor-in-chief Zirat Times also spoke on the occasion and stressed on the need and importance of segregating the waste and saving the water bodies of Kashmir.
A documentary by Abdul Rashid Bhat, EMMRC Kashmir University, about solid waste management was also screened. IEI also formally launched their official website on the occasion.
Er. Riyaz Ahmad Khan, Honorary Secretary IEI J&K, thanked the participants, experts and the dignitaries who were present at the seminar for their views and suggestions on important issues like environment.