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Plastic Garbage Becoming “Threat” In Himalayan Regions: Environment Scientist

Environment Scientist Dr Suresh Kumar Atri said that the littering of plastic is becoming a serious threat. He said that the forest of the Himalayas is receiving 200 tons of plastic. If the Himalayan region is not preserved the entire downstream area will get affected, he added

Plastic Garbage Becoming "Threat" In Himalayan Regions: Environment Scientist
The local residents demanded the authorities take action and provide dumping arrangements to collect the plastic garbage.

Shimla: Environment Scientist Dr Suresh Kumar Atri on Friday (May 26) expressed his concern over the plastic waste damaging the Himalayan ecosystem and biodiversity in the north Indian hill region and said, it is becoming a “threat” to the people. Speaking to news agency ANI. Mr. Atri said,

The littering of plastic is becoming a serious threat. We are receiving 200 tons of plastic in the forest of the Himalayas. If the Himalayan region is not preserved the entire downstream area will get affected. More than 700 million people will get affected. Dumping plastic in soil decreases its fertility.

Also Read: Entire North-East Region, A Biodiversity Hotspot, Says IIT Guwahati Professor

He further said,

Plastic choking leads to flooding, and sometimes even animals eat plastic which disturbs the animal ecosystem. We work very hard to control the pollution menace due to plastic use. We are involving school children in cleaning the plastic litter. It’s unfortunate to see people come here and throw the garbage. People must come forward to beat plastic pollution.

The Environmentalist at the State Environment, Science and Technology Department said that the Hill state has made efforts to stop the plastic menace. He further said,

We decided to ban plastic earlier in 1999 and in 2009 a certain level of micron and penal provisions are also there for littering. Packaging plastic was banned in 2013 in Himachal Pradesh and it was challenged and it got stayed by the apex court.

The age of degradation of plastic is more than 400 years, the plastic bottle takes more than 1000 years to degrade, it remains in the system with the life cycle of humans, microplastic is also getting into our whole chain is getting effective, Environment Scientist said.

The renowned Indian agriculture expert and environmentalists Devendra Sharma believe that plastic waste is not only hitting biodiversity and farming it also blocks the rivulets and Nallas.

There have been cases in which cattle die due to plastic, this is a serious aspect, the other aspect is what do you do when it blocks the rivulets and Nallas, which is affecting agriculture. That Himachal Pradesh is a state which alone has 1 per cent of the global diversity has to be much more sensitive to control the usage of plastic, Mr. Sharma said.

Meanwhile, the local residents demanded the authorities take action and provide dumping arrangements to collect the plastic garbage.

The tourists come here and they throw garbage here, we demand that the authorities should install a dustbin here. We have cattle here for grazing and they eat plastic waste. Plastic is not good for the environment here, said Ms. Savita, a local resident.

A Chet Ram, a local farmer, said,

The local villagers are worried about the degradation of biodiversity; it is a threat to our cattle. The tourists come here and throw garbage. It is unfortunate that educated people are doing it. It is also creating a threat to our crops.

Moreover, one of the tourists who visited the place said there is a need to place dustbins and execution should be done.

A local tourist, Vijay Pati,

This is a beautiful place, lots of people come here to see the beauty of the Himalayan region but we have seen the garbage thrown in beautiful locations that need to be controlled. The dustbins are not kept in the places.

He further said,

It is our duty to keep the surroundings and our cities clean but we are not doing it, as citizens of India we should follow our duties. The government is doing but lots more needs to be done.

Also Read: G20: Third Environment, Climate Sustainability Working Group Meeting Concludes In Mumbai

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diarrhoea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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