From Trishna Pegu Doley
GUWAHATI : “We have evolved from nature and is our only sustenance, giving us oxygen to survive. It’s our bounden duty to protect the eco system – flora and fauna for our own survival,” said Minister for Environment and Forest, Parimal Suklabaidya on the occasion of World Environment Day. Inaugurating a Nature Learning Sub Centre at Nellie in Morigaon district on Saturday, Minister Suklabaidya said wanton destruction of forest and killing of wildlife taking place across the globe must be brought to a grinding halt as ‘our future and that of the coming generations hinges on the environment’.
The Nature Learning Sub Centre houses galleries from rare endangered species to Himalayan diversity and from evolution of existence to Himalayan mountain ranges to forest types. Three more Nature Learning Centres will come up soon. Lamenting the fact that greed and avarice coupled with materialistic desire have left little time for us to ponder about nature, the life supporting eco system, Suklabaidya said, “It’s time to restore the eco system and to give nature what we have derived from it. Otherwise, our very existence will be at stake.” The Minister said at a time when one is gasping for oxygen cylinders and concentrators during the COVID pandemic times, the crying need of the hour is to protect the trees and plants that provide oxygen to us 24×7. He said the Environment and Forest department have planted more than 10 crore saplings, seized around 2,500 vehicles for carrying illegal forest materials and more than 3,000 bend saw machines and arrested around 250 persons in the past three years.
The Minister urged the people to educate those who are wrecking destruction of flora and fauna and to work unitedly to protect them for posterity. “Environmental degradation must be halted for the human race to survive,” he added. PCCF cum Head of Forest Force, AM Singh, PCCF Wetlands, Ramjana Gupta Juhari and Additional PCCF, Paban Kumar also spoke on the significance of the day. Deputy Commissioner, Morigaon, Seema Rekha Bhuyan and Chairman, Pollution Control Board, Surya Narayan were also present. Suklabaidya released a coffee table book on Kaziranga: The Magical Wilderness. He also planted saplings along with senior forest officials in front of the Nature Learning Sub Centre. The minister went on a nature trail adjoining the Nature Learning Sub Centre and also took to cycling in the verdant forest of western range of Dharamtul under Nagaon Forest Division to spread the message of a clean and green environment for a healthy living.