GUWAHATI, Sept 9 - Exhorting the masses to realise the hazardous impact of plastics and non-bio- degradable materials on the environment, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today announced that the State government would set up the Assam Institute of Waste Management, besides a separate department for looking after waste disposal and management. He was speaking at the National Conference on Waste Disposal and Management organised by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) at the Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra. The conference was inaugurated today.
�As Guwahati aims at becoming the hub of economic and tourism activities in the next few years, our government will strive to ensure that ecology and economy coexist. We want to take Assam into the high growth trajectory and usher in a period of faster development, but not at the cost of the environment,� he said.
Saying that cleanliness is next to godliness, Sonowal today called upon the young generation to commit themselves to the cause of protecting the environment and practise cleanliness in their day-to-day lives.
Commenting that the whole country is struggling with the problem of huge build-up of waste and its hazardous impact on the environment, the Chief Minister said the situation called for smart handling of waste, which includes processing and recycling as per latest technology. �There is tremendous pressure on the environment with ever growing human population, new settlements and development of industries,� he added.
Referring to the State�s abundant natural resources, he said the perennial problem of flood must be managed scientifically and stressed the need for a collective approach of all the North-eastern States and Bhutan to find a permanent solution to the problem.
Sonowal hoped that the two-day conference would be able to come up with solutions to the waste management challenges faced by the modern cities and help the government formulate policies accordingly.
NGT Chairman Justice Swatanter Kumar, in his address, said it is the collective responsibility of all sections of the society to protect the environment. �The NGT is striving to make the country a better place for the next generations by preserving its nature and biodiversity,� Kumar said.
Supreme Court judges Sharad Arvind Bobde and UU Lalit, Chief Justice of Royal Kingdom of Bhutan Lyonpo Tsering Wangchuk, Gauhati High Court Chief Justice Ajit Singh, State Forest and Environment minister Pramila Rani Brahma, among others, also spoke.