Important to maintain balance between earth and water, says Khattar

SGT Times Reporter

Gurugram, February 2

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar today said that flora and fauna are an integral part of nature and this earth belongs to all, not only the human beings.

The Chief Minister said this while speaking at the World Wetlands Day programme organized at Sultanpur National Park in Gurugram on Wednesday.

Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister of State for Forest and Environment Ashwini Choubey, Haryana Forest, and Education Minister Kanwar Pal also remained present on this occasion.

The Chief Minister said that it is very necessary to maintain the balance between both earth and water as wherever there are wetlands, birds from all over the country and the world migrate to such places.  Thousands of birds migrate from other countries and regions at Sultanpur and Bhindawas lakes in Haryana, said Khattar.

Every year 50,000 birds of more than 100 species reach Sultanpur. Similarly, 40,000 birds of more than 80 species come to Bhindawas every year.  More than 100 home species of birds are also found in Bhindawas.

He said that many tourists come here to see these migratory birds. Plans are being made for their stay.  Recently, a homestay policy has been made for Tikkartal and on the same pattern homestay will also be started in the villages around these two lakes. With this, tourists will be able to experience Haryanvi culture and get glimpses of rural life.

The Chief Minister said that today is not just Wetlands Day, it is a day to take a pledge that we will not damage nature. Nature is such a subject, in which if the balance is maintained then our life will be healthy and we can imagine living a healthy and long life.  Many times, we try to damage nature in the name of development, but today we are also thankful to those organizations, which play their role to save nature, said Khattar.

The Chief Minister said that in ancient times the tradition of worshipping animals, birds, and trees has prevailed in the society. Today we regard Ganga and Tulsi as mothers and worship Peepal tree. In Haryana, trees are considered a life-giving force. 

When the crisis of oxygen came during the Pandemic, Oxyvans were set up. Not only this, the present State Government is giving an annual pension of Rs. 2500 to the family or institution taking care of trees that have completed 75 years.  Haryana is the only state where a pension for trees is being given.

The Chief Minister said that for the rejuvenation of ponds in Haryana, Haryana Pond, and Waste Water Management Authority has been constituted. There are about 18,000 ponds in the state. Earlier siltation took place in the ponds and the clay layer was removed.  After this, the overflowing of the ponds was stopped and recharging of water was done, but today there are 6000 ponds in the state which overflow during the rains. This year 1900 ponds will be cleaned by the Pond Authority, next year, the work of 2500 ponds will be carried out. Thereby all the ponds of the state will be rejuvenated by removing the dirt from these ponds.

The union minister said that the forest department has a record 49 lakes of the country in the Ramsar site, including Sultanpur and Bhindawas lakes of Haryana. In the future, work will be done to get 75 lakes of the country registered in the Ramsar sites. We should try to beautify these lakes and save them, he added.

The Minister said that his department is working at the grassroots level to ensure the celebration of important environment days. Climate change is a big challenge for us, that is why the Government of India has presented the Green Budget, he added.

Yadav said that Khattar has apprised him about the problem of waterlogging in the Najafgarh region. The Chief Minister has suggested that a drain should be dug for proper water drainage.

On his advice, the Environment Department has constituted a committee, which includes the Haryana government and the Delhi government.  The committee will plan and execute the same in the next 6 months and soon the problem of waterlogging in this area will be resolved.

Union Minister of State for Forest and Environment Ashwini Choubey said  we alone do not have right on earth but crores of species also have equal rights on mother earth. Thousands of birds from all over the country and abroad come to the wetlands. This benefits the environment as well as the people living there. 

Wetlands are the kidneys of landscape.  Here not only water becomes useful, but also ensures livelihood of the people living around it. Till now there were 47 wetlands across the country, but now with the addition of Sultanpur and Bhindawas of Haryana, their number has now increased to 49. 

I am sincerely hopeful that Haryana Government will work for Eco Park, Eco Village at these places.  Maintaining a balance between nature and the environment is very important, he added.

Haryana Forest and Education Minister Kanwar Pal said that nature is of utmost importance in our lives, therefore it definitely has to be saved.  Many times we feel that many things are not needed but everything created by God has its own importance, he added.

Today Wetlands Day is being celebrated all over the world.  Birds migrate not only from within the country but from all over the world to these wetlands which also absorb carbon and are helpful in dealing with flood-like situations. Many organisms are born here which are essential for the environment. 

Giving an example, Kanwar Pal said that the whitefly had attacked the cotton crop in the past.  There was no effect of any chemical on this fly. The researcher believed that earlier this fly was eaten by a bird, but due to the use of chemicals in the fields, this bird stopped visiting the fields, due to which the outbreak of whitefly increased. He said that every living being has its own importance in nature, we need to understand this.  The coming generations should be made aware in this regard.

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