GUWAHATI, June 5 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today said that every individual must respect Nature in the way he or she pays obeisance to Almighty God.
Speaking at a function organized on the occasion of the World Environment Day by the Department of Environment and Forests, Pollution Control Board, Assam, and Assam Science Technology and Environment Council at the Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra auditorium, Sonowal dwelt on the age-old bond of humans and nature, and said that even science had acknowledged the fact that mankind�s survival was intrinsically linked to protection of the natural environment.
�The State Government is committed to conservation of the region�s forests and its famed biodiversity. We are undertaking a massive afforestation drive aimed at planting five crore saplings across the State. Guwahati, the State capital will also be developed as a green city,� he said.
Asserting that the State Government would come down hard on the unabated killing of wildlife, including the one-horned rhino, the Chief Minister also urged the people to be sensitive and caring towards nature and wildlife in order to make conservation a success.
�Awareness has to be created for preservation of our State�s biodiversity. Towards this end, the department must involve the students living in 26,000 villages across the State in the conservation campaign to make it a success,� he added.
The Chief Minister also stressed the need for making the reserved forest areas as centres of tourism.
Environment and Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma and writer Arup Kumar Dutta also addressed the meeting.
Brahma in her speech said effective steps would be initiated to stop rhino poaching in Kaziranga. She added that she would personally meet the people living on the fringes of the national park to create awareness on protecting the rhinos.