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A Day for Mother Earth Observed in Sikkim


A Day for Mother Earth Observed in SikkimA New Green Initiative 'A Day for Mother Earth' launched in Sikkim


July 7, 2019  | Kitchu Dumra, Kamrang, South Sikkim:


The Honourable Chief Minister of Sikkim Shri Prem Singh Tamang launched the State Government’s new green initiative ‘A Day for Mother Earth’ on the 7th of July, 2019 at Kitchu Dumra, Kamrang South Sikkim.  At the onset of the function, the Chief Minister planted a sapling of a sacred Bodhi tree (Peepal) Ficus religiosa at the Kitchu Dumra premises. He was accompanied by the Honourable Deputy Speaker (Sikkim State Legislative Assembly) Shri Sangay Lepcha, the Honourable Minister Forests Shri Karma Loday Bhutia, Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, Political Secretary, Advisors, Chief Secretary, Government Officers, Panchayats and Public at large who also planted saplings of various species at the premises.


One of the unique features of this programme of dedicating seven minutes of no vehicular emission in Sikkim commencing from 11.00 am to 11.07 am was observed across the State with remarkable success. This brainchild initiative conceptualized by the Chief Minister himself to stop all vehicular movement for seven minutes to mark the seventh and concluding day of week-long Van Mahotsav coinciding on the seventh day of the seventh month is an initiative to negate carbon emission and to ascertain State’s affirmative step towards ameliorating the detrimental effects of global warming and climate change. The vehicular traffic across the State halted for seven minutes starting from 11 am on the 7th of July 2019. Exceptions were however given to essential and emergency services like Ambulance, Fire, Police etc.

Traffic halted for 7 minutes


Addressing the gathering, the Chief Minister congratulated the Forest department and all other coordinating departments including tour operators, taxi drivers and general public for actively taking part in the programme and making it a grand success across the State. This initiative has added vigour to State’s climate action plan in reducing vehicular pollution and carbon footprints which will also be an annual feature. He shared his concern about the adverse climate change happening presently all over the world and covering the State too. He laid emphasis that immediate action should be undertaken to combat the threats posed by climate change which may result in major natural disasters, droughts and many more irreparable damages. The Chief Minister said a resilient long term action plan must be conceptualised to ensure sustainability and to bring about crucial and positive environmental transformation. He added that the aim of this distinct programme is also to encourage people to plant an ample amount of tress to increase the average green cover in Sikkim. The Chief Minister said he will be planting about 1,000 saplings and directed the cabinet ministers, chief secretary, panchayats to plant 500, 300 and 100 saplings respectively and ensure for the saplings’ survival. Additionally, he also encouraged the masses to plant at least 10 numbers of saplings to help conserve the environment. The Chief Minister said the general public must not only rely on Forest department for plantation drive and that they should take this up individually as a trait of being a conscious citizen. He also informed that the State government will soon set up recycling projects to unburden the growing stress on landfill sites. For this project to work, he urged the general public to practice waste segregation at source. Sharing his concern on the water scarcity problem, he articulated that focus should be laid on rain water harvesting units in the State and said that the initiative for this unit will soon be commenced by the State government. He also highlighted about the severe decline in spring water in the State as per the recent report of NITI Aayog and affirmed for necessary steps to overcome the water scarcity issue. The Chief Minister also updated that the State government till date has closed two industrial units for violation of environmental norms and asserted that any company or institution found breaching any environmental guidelines will be liable.


Speaking during the programme, the Honourable Minister Forests Shri Karma Loday Bhutia spoke about the objective of ‘A day for Mother Earth’ which has been initiated to preserve the fragile ecology of the State along with spreading awareness about the adverse effects of climate change. He also drew light on the various climate issues plaguing the globe such as depletion of ozone layers and many more and said that these issues can be encountered through planting and sustaining of trees.  He added that the public should be mindful and that they should avoid using plastic bags and any other amenities that can hamper the environment. He updated that compensation provided by the companies located in Sikkim will be rightfully utilised in saving the environment. Furthermore, he encouraged the contractors to work in coordination with conservation of the environment as it is extremely vital in today’s world.


Forest department PCCF-cum-Principal Secretary Shri M.L. Srivastava presented a brief about this programme and other environment conservation programmes of the State Forest department. He mentioned that a novel green initiative ‘A Day for Mother Earth’ was launched as an annual venture on the closing day of Van Mahotsav week. He shared that Sikkim is one of the hotspots of distinct vegetation and it is every one’s responsibility to maintain this natural resource through various green activities.


The programme ended with vote of thanks by the Conservator of Forests (Territorial) Shri Udai Gurung.


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