National Green Tribunal (NGT) Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel on Saturday gave a clarion call to all the stakeholders for acting together to address the environmental pollution, the need of the hour.
Addressing the first-of-its-kind regional conference organised here by the Environment Department of Punjab, the NGT Chairperson said time has come to act otherwise "we will have to face devastation". He underscored the need to maintain ecological balance to ensure healthy life.
Expressing confidence that this conference would be a model itself in the country to disseminate the message of environment preservation, the Chairperson said it is a strong beginning, which could be efficaciously replicated at the grassroots across the country for resolving the environmental issues.
He said the maximum involvement of people should be made in such pro-people and pro-nature initiatives to avert environmental imbalances.
The plenary session was participated by Punjab Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh and his Haryana counterpart Keshni Anand Arora.
Assuring fulsome support and cooperation from the NGT, the Chairperson categorically said that there was no dearth of funds and people were willing to extend all possible cooperation as the clean environment was an issue of "great urgency".
Referring to waste management, Justice Goel said the authorities would have to execute command and control model in letter and spirit to ensure reforms and achieve desired goals.
Urging the Punjab and Haryana governments to remove the garbage dumps from both states and restore the land occupied under garbage piles, he said the country had over 4,100 garbage dumps sites in 4,100 cities, which could be leveraged for business and employment opportunities.
Exhorting the industry and agrarian sectors to come forward for using the treated sewerage water, Goel said that effective management of sewerage water both solid and liquid was also much needed and the treated solid sewerage could be used as manure while the liquid for industrial and agriculture purposes.
In his address, Chairman of NGT Committee of River Sutlej Justice Jasbir Singh took note of gravity of the situation and said that time has come to act or react and if not now then when, as it was now an environment emergency with no time left.