Need to save environment
State-wide tree plantation drive to mark completion of 4 years rule of the BJP led Government and a ban on single use plastics from May 15 this year. Central to both is the growing need to protect the environment. Planting tress is obviously one of the approaches to tackle global warming and air pollution while banning single use plastic is again to save the environment. Planting trees is today one of the more impressive statements that can and should appeal to people irrespective of political affiliations, religious divide, political ideologies and even Nationalities, for what is at stake here is mankind. It is on the plank of saving the planet that the world is today very much familiar with climate activists Greta Thunberg and back at home there is the young Licypriya Kangujam and Valentina Elangbam. Think global, act local is a slogan that is closely associated with the Green Activists and the BJP led Government obviously has keyed in on an important issue of today’s world by planting trees to mark its four years in office. It was in line with the State-wide tree plantation drive that Forest Minister Awangbow Newmai thought it fit to announce that the Forest Department has been able to plant trees over an area of 22,730 hectares in the last four years. This is notable but it would have been so much better if the Minister had been supplied with the information on how many of the tree saplings planted survived and how much they have grown in the last four years. Plant a tree and not care to take a look later should not exactly be equated with the noble task of planting a tree to help in the approach to green the place and perhaps contribute in saving the earth. This is where the tree planting and greening activities taken up at Aagan Ching Eco Park at Kakching under the initiative of Surjit Kshetrimayum gains importance with its catchy slogan ‘U Thasi, U Hinghanshi’ (Let’s plant trees, let’s make the trees survive). One only hopes the Forest Minister takes note of this catchy slogan and accordingly take up some concrete measures.
The green Manipur drive is beautifully complemented by the decision of the State Government to ban single use plastic from May 15 this year. One only hopes that this measure does not fizzle out like the earlier attempt to ban use of plastics that are lesser than 50 microns. To make the plastic free drive successful, the Government will need to take everyone along and its focus should be on how to involve some of the local organisations where its volunteers can reach out to every section of society. Involve them in the sensi-tisation drive and in enforcing the ban. Single use plastics or say plastic carry bags are extremely convenient to use and this is the primary reason why many ‘forget not to use them.’ Think of ways to popularise jute carry bags and wrappers made from papers, like in the olden days before plastics invaded each and every household. The Government should also think of ways to impose heavy fines on those who violate the ban. Time for each and every individual to become environmentalists in their own way and the best and first step should be to ensure that the waste generated from each household does not have much plastics. The ban on single use plastic should be the responsibility of everyone and not just the Government’s.