Progress should not come at environment’s cost: Abdullah

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Srinagar, Jun 5 (PTI) National Conference (NC) President Farooq Abdullah on Saturday said the nation's progress must not come at the cost of the environment.

He also expressed grief over the killing of a four-year-old girl by a leopard in Budgam and demanded action against erring officers.

In his message on the World Environment Day, Abdullah said reckless human activity in the form of deforestation, water and air pollution and overuse of natural resources has imperilled the natural balance in the global environment.

“The nation's progress must not be at the cost of the environment. Human development goals must be met in integration with environmental ethics and sustainability,” said the Member of Parliament from Srinagar constituency.

He said J-K has not escaped the global pattern, triggering extinction of various species by the wanton adulteration of the lakes and springs with plastic and other adulterants. “All natural aspects of life in Kashmir have been ingeniously affected by the impact of reckless greed of human beings. We all have to inculcate environmental ethics in ourselves and in the coming generations. Since we live in a place having immense tourism potential, therefore, it becomes more imperative for all of us, particularly the young, to keep our environs clean,” he said.

Abdullah said people, in their individual capacity, can contribute in protecting the fragile and land locked environment by stopping improper waste disposal, abandonment of plastic usage, and using water and electricity judiciously.

“We as individuals should not wait for government to take action. Good parenting and schooling, edification of community and religious leaders comes into play,” he said Noting that the theme of this year's world environment day is ecosystem restoration, he said: “Crumpling of one ecosystem will have an impact on the other. All of them are interlinked.” He further said the governments have a bigger responsibility to strike a balance between development and protection of ecosystems.

Referring to the spike in the man-animal conflict, the former chief minister of J&K said it was also a direct consequence of imbalance between development and ecology.

“The mauling of a four year old girl to death in Ompura, Badgam brings home the negative consequences of the face-off between man and wild creatures due to fussy development and negligence of the administration.

“The gut wrenching incident has saddened me to the core. I express my heartfelt sympathies with the bereaved and pray for forbearance to bereaved in their hour of loss and grief. The incident should act as a wakeup call for the administration who the locals are accusing of negligence. The incident should be thoroughly probed to fix the responsibility,” he said.

Abdullah said the administration should come up with a comprehensive plan to secure the lives of people from the impact of man-animal conflict.

“The need of the hour calls for making good of the deficiency of manpower, infrastructure and equipment in the wildlife and forest department,” he said.

Meanwhile, Abdullah visited an organic vegetable outlet at Lalmandi here and inspected the stalls there.

He also held an interaction with the progressive organic farmers and buyers besides with some of the successful agri-entrepreneurs from different districts of the valley.

“Organic vegetable production has the potential to transform the socio economic status of farming community. This is the remunerative and economically viable way of farming,” he said, assuring them of every possible support from the government.

He also purchased some exotic vegetables from organic vegetable stalls and asked the farmers to diversify agriculture activities so that the union territory could become self-reliant in terms of vegetable production and other allied sectors of agriculture. PTI SSB MGA MGA