Press Trust of India | Kohima
Nagaland today joined the rest of the country in observing World Environment Day with Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio setting December deadline to “free the state of plastic waste”.
Across the state, NGOs, educational institutions and government departments held green rallies to raise awareness on plastic pollution.
India is the global host of 2018 World Environment Day celebrations. With “Beat Plastic Pollution” as the theme for this year’s edition, countries have come together to combat environment concerns.
At a programme at NBCC Convention Hall in Kohima, Rio called upon the people to reaffirm their commitment to create a “plastic-free state” in the next six months.
The CM listed the harmful effects of polythene bags on the environment.
“Plastic bags choke drains and gutters, causing them to overflow. Burning plastic also results in release of toxic gases,” he said, adding that people need to take measures to end the menace.
Urging people to replace plastic bags and cutleries with eco-friendly products, the CM stressed the importance of planting trees to curb pollution.
He asked Chief Secretary Temjen Toy to set up a task force to achieve the goal of creating a ‘plastic-free Nagaland’ by December.
“As promised in the election manifesto, the People’s Democratic Alliance government would be launching ‘Clean and Green Nagaland’ campaign soon. The government has also resolved to plant at least 48,000 saplings in the next one week,” Rio said.
Nagaland Environment Minister CM Chang, while delivering the keynote address earlier in the day, requested everyone to join hands to combat the environmental challenges. Chang also suggested ways to stop plastic pollution.
“Adopt the three Rs – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and take a pledge to collectively make the Earth a greener place,” he urged people at NBCC Convention Hall.
A short play discouraging the use of plastics during shopping was also staged by young artists on this occasion.
The programme ended with Assembly Speaker Vikho-o Yhoshu administering a ‘green pledge’ to the participants of the two-hour-long programme.