Taking a tough stand on environment protection, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday called for collective efforts by every citizen to check pollution, while stressing on the need to be stricter with industries on adherence to environmental standards.
Speaking at a function in Ropar to mark the World Environment Day that coincided with the first anniversary of the government's flagship health project - Mission Tandarust Punjab, the Chief Minister underlined the importance of an apolitical approach to addressing environmental concerns to provide sustainable atmosphere.
The government can make policies and implement them, but the realisation about the need for personal efforts by one and all, and stricter observance of environmental norms by industries, is equally important to achieve sustainability goals, he said.
Noting that this year's World Environment Day coincided with the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, who always advocated environment protection, he announced the launch of a project by the year-end for cleaning Buddah Nullah.
The Chief Minister said saving the environment was the responsibility of each one. He also underlined the responsibility of the citizens in conservation of ground water, which was depleting fast in Punjab.
Pointing to reports suggesting that the state will become a desert in 20 years, he lamented that free power and free water had led to wastage, making it necessary for farmers to realise their responsibility on this count.
He recalled his own experience while flying to Amritsar, when he saw a clean Beas contrasted with a dirty Satluj, whose water was brackish due to pollution from nearby cities, towns and industries.
The State Pollution Control Board was doing its best to reverse the situation but the people need to pitch in with their efforts, said Amarinder Singh.
On the government's part, he had once again ordered a stop on plantation of the water-consuming Eucalyptus trees along the roadside, which he had also banned in his earlier tenure. He urged people to plant traditional trees like 'jamun' and mango to save the environment.