UT Environment committee to work on improving the green cover of the Southern Sectors of Chandigarh

CHANDIGARH, India, Aug. 8, 2023 -- Embracing a citizen-centric approach, a meeting of the UT Environment Standing Committee was held at Paryavaran Bhawan, Sector 19, Chandigarh, to discuss and address the urgent environmental issues faced by Chandigarh. The meeting was chaired by the Chancellor of Chandigarh University and Chairman of UT Environment Standing Committee, Satnam Singh Sandhu who is also the founder of Chandigarh Welfare Trust (CWT).

During the meeting, which was attended by officials of various departments of UT administration, several urgent environmental issues of Chandigarh were deliberated thoroughly and recommendations were also given to address these issues effectively. Strategies for eco-friendly Chandigarh and better adherence to environmentally friendly practices by government bodies, policymakers, and the general public were discussed. Among those who attended the meeting were Sh. Hardeep Singh Buterla, Sh. Yudhvir Singh Kaura, Ms. Bharti, and Arulrajan P, and other esteemed members of the environment committee.

Earlier, the standing committee had held a special meeting on July 13 to assess the widespread damage caused by the heavy rainfall in Chandigarh and its peripheral villages. Satnam Singh Sandhu, Chancellor Chandigarh University, who is also a member of the UT advisory council, had visited rain-affected areas of the city and interacted with residents at the time.

Extensive discussions were held during the Friday's meeting on both short-term and long-term strategies to safeguard the environment, as well as preserve the city's diverse flora and fauna. The strategies that were discussed during the meeting included registration of vendors and taking undertaking from them to comply with single-use plastic ban, improving the cleanliness and sanitation in areas that are not under Chandigarh Municipal Corporation and increasing the green cover of the city. It was also deliberated that public awareness drives and campaigns should be conducted for single-use plastic, with a focus on alternative materials and enforcement. The committee's recommendations will be presented to the relevant authorities for further action.

Strict enforcement of single-use plastic ban

While addressing the attendees, Chancellor Chandigarh University & Chairman of UT Environment Standing Committee, Satnam Singh Sandhu highlighted the primary challenges, including the concerns about the rampant use of single-use plastic in Mandis of the city, which he said should be stopped. The committee observed that despite the ban on single-use plastics, they are being used in vegetable markets rampantly which is a cause of concern. They proposed that Chandigarh's market committee should start registering the vendors in Mandis and ask them to submit an undertaking that they will comply with the single-use plastic ban and if they are found violating the ban, their registration will be cancelled. For this he said that the concerted efforts of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), the Environment Committee, and the Market Board can address this issue effectively.

The other concern raised during the meeting was about sanitation and cleanliness in areas that are not under the Municipal Corporations (MCs) like some villages and colonies. It has been observed by the panel that these areas lack proper sanitation and cleanliness unlike the areas under MC of Chandigarh.

The committee also appreciated the efforts of Chandigarh MC after the panel members were apprised that the civic body achieved 97% waste segregation at source so far. However, they were asked to achieve it 100% so that it further propels a city in the annual Swachh Survekshan.

Increasing the city's green cover

It was also discussed that the green cover in the city should be increased. Although it is satisfactory, there is a lot of scope to increase the tree and forest cover especially in the Southern Sectors of the city. While urging for improvement through collaborative efforts with other departments, including horticulture, the panel proposed periodic plantation drives on available land to nurture new saplings and establish additional green spaces.

It was highlighted during the meeting that there is a visible difference between the green cover in the Northern and Southern Sectors of the city, which can be matched through concerted efforts to improve the Southern part. They have also identified three to four wastelands that have a potential of becoming green spaces.

During the meeting, Chancellor Chandigarh University & Chairman of UT Environment Standing Committee, Satnam Singh Sandhu stressed on effective management of parks and public spaces to prevent water stagnation and avoid the spread of water-borne diseases in the current monsoon season.

Another vital concern raised by Satnam Singh Sandhu was the frequent occurrence of fruit-bearing and large trees toppling during storms and the rainy season, leading to heightened risks of accidents, traffic congestion, and damage.

Addressing the issue of backyard dumping in industrial areas, the committee recommended the installation of segregated dustbins. Additionally, they emphasized on the importance of conducting advocacy and awareness campaigns among the public to foster informed decision-making and maintain cleanliness throughout the city.

Moreover, the action taken report of the last meeting of the committee was also discussed. It was apprised to the members that NEERI has been engaged for technical assistance for selection of the best available technology for processing dry waste and wet waste. The e-waste generated in the city is collected, segregated, dismantled, recycled, treated, and disposed off through authorized e-waste recyclers from other states.

Environment education should be taught as compulsory and a qualifying paper in all UG classes of colleges in the city. Regarding the protection of N-Choe, the committee was apprised that N-Choe has been examined by the concerned department.

About Chandigarh University

Chandigarh University is a NAAC A+ Grade University and QS World Ranked University. This autonomous educational institution is approved by UGC and is located near Chandigarh in the state of Punjab. It is the youngest university in India and the only private university in Punjab to be honoured with A+ Grade by NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council). CU offers more than 109 UG and PG programs in the field of engineering, management, pharmacy, law, architecture, journalism, animation, hotel management, commerce, and others. It has been awarded as The University with Best Placements by WCRC.

About Chandigarh Welfare Trust 

Chandigarh Welfare Trust is a not-for-profit organization founded by Satnam Singh Sandhu committed to the city and citizens' welfare of Chandigarh. The organization aims to improve the citizens' living experience in Chandigarh and revive the city's historically endorsed model status to again serve as a benchmark for other cities in India, and those around the world. The organization aims to work together with key city stakeholders and develop pragmatic and sustainable solutions to critical challenges faced by the communities of Chandigarh.

Photo: https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/2171317/Chandigarh_University.jpg