Srinagar, Jun 10: The preservation of the environment in Jammu and Kashmir is still a far away from reality.
World Environment Day was celebrated on June 5 to come together to combat one of the great environmental challenges of our time.
According to a notification issued by Union ministry of environment and forest (MoEF), at least 30 species of animals and plants in Jammu and Kashmir are on the verge of extinction.
The endangered 20 plants species of J&K are Aconitum chasmanthum, Aconitum deinorrhizum, Aconitum heterophyllum, Aconitum kasmiricum, Aconitum violaceum, Eremostachyssuperba, Gentianaornata ,Gentianakurro, Lagotiscashmeriana, Meconopsislatifolia, Meconopsis aculeate, Saussureacostus, Saussurea medusa, Saussureasimpsoniana, Sophoramoorcroftiana, Podophyllumhexandrum, Dactylorhizahatagirea, Picrorrhizakurroa, Betulautilis and Taxuswallichiana.
Similarly, a government document says authorities need to take measures about pollution of fresh water bodies, air pollution, waste management, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, desertification, water logging, natural and manmade disasters, and climate change.
The document says, “To protect and conserve critical ecological systems and natural resources, and invaluable natural and manmade heritage, which are essential for life support, livelihoods, economic growth, and a broad conception of human well being.”
It is to ensure “efficient use of environmental resources in the sense of reduction in their use per unit of economic output, to minimize adverse environmental impacts.”
It also talks about various environmental challenges that have emerged over the years.
“The problem of water pollution is very severe in our state. In Kashmir, the river Jhelum has been converted into a drain due to the severe water pollution. The entire vale is located on the right and left banks of this river and the raw effluent from all the major towns finds its way directly into this river which has severely damaged the water quality,” it reads.
Similarly, an official document of Housing and Urban Development Department said that 40 percent of municipal waste in the state is wet waste, which can easily be “composted and used as manure”.
Nearly 30 percent of the municipal waste comprises of plastic and metal, which can be sent for recycling to an authorized dealer and about 20 percent of it is e-waste, which can be recovered at door step, the document said.
The issues pertaining to solid waste are on the rise in Jammu and Kashmir, which has witnessed an increase of over 8 percent in a decade.
Solid waste production and disposal is one of the most serious environmental problems, given its high negative impact on natural resources. Surprisingly there is no solid waste management policy in place.
A recent report by NITI Aayog ‘Report of Working Group II, Sustainable Tourism in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR)’ has revealed that waste management was a huge challenge in Jammu and Kashmir. (KNS)