By OUR STAFF REPORTER
Dehradun, 3 Jun: Delivering the inaugural address at the CII – UCOST Environment Summit here, today, Harak Singh Rawat, State Environment Minister, said that Uttarakhand was providing selfless service to the nation by conserving its ecology. He said that in the way the state was good at conserving tigers, it must also look at ways and means to stop forest fires and plant species of trees like banyan and peepal that gave more oxygen, conserved water and absorbed more carbon dioxide. He added that to improve air quality, it was also important to replace old trees with new ones.
The annual CII–UCOST summit, 10th in the series, commenced today on the occasion of World Environment Day, on the theme, “Improving Air Quality, Making Cities Cleaner & Leading Healthier Lives”. The deliberations on the first day of the summit focused upon the impact of Air Pollution on Health & Air Pollution Monitoring, Compliances and Regulations & Practices in line with this year’s global environment day theme “Air Pollution”. Day two of the summit will focus on effective waste management.
Dr Rajendra Dobhal, Director General, UCOST, while delivering his theme address said vehicular pollution caused release of heavy metals in the air and inhaling which caused severe health problems. He mentioned that staying in a compact air conditioned environment for a long duration led to more hazardous diseases. He appreciated the fact that some of the industries as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility were doing really good work by planting lakhs of trees, which would help in improving the air quality.
Mukesh Goyal, Chairman, CII Uttarakhand State Council, said that air pollution in Uttarakhand was on the rise and in Dehradun, itself, the pollution level was only slightly better than Delhi. He further urged that citizens could all make small contributions to improving air quality by doing a few simple things: Stop burning Waste/Dry Leaves, use more of public Transport, especially school going children, using bicycles for commuting to nearby places, Car-pooling, Planting Trees wherever possible, more use of inverters over DG Sets and timely servicing of vehicles.
Rakesh Oberai, Past Chairman & Convener, Panel on Environment, CII Uttarakhand State Council, in his welcome address mentioned that CII had been organising this summit for the last 10 years jointly with UCOST addressing issues related to Environment and Sustainability.
Delivering the concluding remarks at the Inaugural, Ashok Windlass, Vice Chairman, CII Uttarakhand State Council, said that the impact of Air Pollution was being felt in Uttarakhand, which is rich in its green cover and the issue needed to be addressed collectively and on priority.
The first plenary session focused on Impact of Air Pollution on Health and was moderated by Dr Rajendra Dobhal. Experts from the Public Health System, Private Health System and Occupational Health and Safety Professionals from Industry shared their views.
The second plenarysession focused on Air Pollution Monitoring, Compliances, Regulations & Practices, and was moderated by Gajendra Singh, Co-Convener, Panel on Environment & Sustainability. Experts from CII-ITC Centre for Environment & Sustainable Development (CESD), Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) and Industry shared their views.
The summit was attended by over 100 delegates from Industry, Institutions, Academia, NGOs and experts in the area of Environment and addressed by more than 15 experts.