Punjab is fast heading towards ecological disaster: Scholars

August 6th, 2008 - 6:29 pm ICT by ANI  

Amritsar, Aug.6 (ANI): Adistinguished group of environmentalists, agriculturalists, social scientists, medical scientists, religious heads and academicians havewarned that Punjab is fast heading towards an ecological disaster.
Participatingindaylong Bhagat Puran Singh Memorial National Seminar at theGuru Nanak Dev University here, theysaid Punjabis also turning into a cradle for cancer and congenital defects due to the large scale and indiscriminate use and abuse of chemical pesticides.
This seminar was jointly organized by the All India Pingalwara Charitable Society and the Guru Nanak Dev University.
ProfessorDr. Jai Rup Singh, the university’’s vice-chancellor, presided over the inaugural session, while renowned agriculture and food policy analyst Dr. Devinder Sharma inaugurated it. Dr. Inderjit Kaur, thepresident of the All India Pingalwara Charitable Society, welcomed the guests.
Eminent scholars were of the unanimous view that if earth was to be savedfor thefuture generations, there is dire need to protect theenvironment from all kinds of pollution.Nativesshould understand their responsibility and be conscious about their surroundings, they added.
They saidthe message of Bhagat Puran Singh should be made a compulsorypart of the schooland university syllabi and be promotedglobally.
Dr. Devinder Sharma saidthe present crisis was due to thefaulty understanding ofeconomic growth.He also cautioned againstthe promotion ofGDP at the cost of the environment.
Society cannot be allowed to be a victim of the faulty growth and development economic model, he said, adding that whatBhagat Puran Singh had said some50 years back, is now comingtrue.
Guru Nanak Dev University Vice Chancellor, Professor Dr Jai Rup Singh, emphasizedthe need forenvironmental awareness and education. He laid emphasis on using alternative sources of energy as well as on water harvesting. The university campus he said was the first in the country to set up a waste treatment plant at a cost of Rs.38 lakh.
He said the State and Central Governments should provide modern and cheaper solar cells because”we are stilldependent on old solar cells invented 50 years ago.”
He also took a serious note of big hoardings being used as publicity material as it adds visual pollution. The population explosion is also a great problem for our country which needs due attention, he added.
Dr Inderjit Kaur, President All-India Pingalwara Charitable Society, said that there was no better way of holding a memorial seminar for Bhagat Puran Singh than to take his message about environmental protection forward.
Well-known Chipko Andolan exponent Sunderlal Bahuguna urged people to follow the path shown by Bhagat Puran Singh. He described the water crisisin the country as very grave, and also called for a check onpopulation growth.
Kavitha Kuruganthi of theCentre for Sustainable Agriculture, Hyderabad,warned about acrisis emanating fromgenetically modified crops.
Environmental epidemiologist Dr S G Kabra from Jaipur explained about the ill effects of chemical pesticides and brought out the congenital defects that Punjab was now faced with as a result. Punjab today as the dubious distinction of having the maximum number of brainless children being born.
Magsaysay Award winner, Rajender Singh, Dr. Amar Singh Azad, Dr. Raghbir Singh, Dean, Academic Affairs also expressed their views on the theme of the seminar. (ANI)

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