Punjab residential colony first to get ISO 14001 certification

August 4th, 2008 - 1:59 pm ICT by IANS  

By Khushwant Singh
Hoshiarpur, Aug 4 (IANS) Setting new standards in living and environment management, Indira Colony, a residential area in this Punjab town, has become the first in India to get an ISO 14001 certification. The goal of getting the ISO certification has been achieved with active help from NGO Clean and Green Hoshiarpur. The NGO was set up at the initiative of local entrepreneurs in 2004.

“The certification heralds the advent of a new era in living standards,” Deepak Mittal, managing director International Tractors Ltd (ITL) and the force behind this unique initiative, told IANS.

“It is the first of its kind of certification for a residential colony anywhere in India,” said Mittal.

Located opposite the DAV College on the Chandigarh-Hoshiarpur road, this once filthy colony has not only become example of self-help and public participation but has led to other localities approaching the NGO to set their house in order.

ISO 14001 is an environmental management benchmark against which organisations are assessed about the standards that they maintain. It is generic and flexible enough to apply to any organisation producing any product or service anywhere in the world.

Clean and Green Hoshiarpur, which draws its inspiration from Art of Living Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, has been at the forefront to raise living standards of residents by planting trees and making people aware of the advantages of keeping their colonies neat and clean.

The NGO, when it started work in 2004, had adopted 20 colonies in the first phase of the clean and green drive.

“The first phase being successful, our second phase would include more ambitious plans as the residents have become mature. We would include more colonies, and as and when we feel that a certain colony has attained the requisite standards, we will help them apply for certification,” added Mittal.

“By getting this certification we have made a statement to the world that the colony residents are not only environment conscious and friendly but wanted to achieve high standards in hygienic living,” said Jaswal Singh, president of the Indira Colony Residents Association.

“We will do our best not to falter in any audit by complying with all the regulations,” he added.

A.S. Mittal, vice chairman of ITL, said: “When Clean and Green had undertaken the project the first time, we were mocked.

“Seeing the deplorable condition of the colonies and with the government unable to handle the situation it was left to a group of entrepreneurs to set things right. Today, we can claim to have achieved our goal and feel encouraged about it.”

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