Keeping the city clean: Minister’s publicity stunt will not help

Written By: / Editorial / Thursday, 11 March 2021 17:38

Development is a multi-dimensional concept covering political, economic, social, cultural, spatial, scientific, technological, moral, spiritual, ecological, and environmental development.
Everybody is aware of the ecological deterioration and environmental degradation, but none acted to do something to save it. Every pedestrian sees plastic bottle, and other waste scattered on our footpath. But, ‘blame’ to those who threw it or perhaps to the government authority is the reaction. He or she will not pick it up to throw it to the right place. There are many who talks saving our environment, rivers, and forest. But every day the thousand people dump their waste at the roadsides, threw garbage at the river smuggled woods using any unfair means. Some waited for the camera to take a shot while planting a sapling to show their love for mother nature but will never look back to see whether the sapling he or she planted is grown.
It is we human being, which is responsible for the crime committee towards nature. Having understood the problem official authorities or Ministers of successive government initiated measures to show their concerns over the deteriorating condition of our environment.
Yesterday, MAHUD Minister Okram Henry kicks start a weeklong cleanliness drive. Earlier too the then Minister in charge of MAHUD, Th. Shyamkumar had launched a cleanliness drive. He had even promised to make all the roads and municipal areas a garbage-free zone. The then Minister in charge of MAHUD had even stated that he will not allow even a plastic bag seen in the streets of Imphal city.
Well, the endeavor needs appreciations, but what is disturbing to the people is that besides the number of promises by subsequent Ministers, Imphal city and almost all areas under the jurisdiction of the Imphal Municipal Corporation (IMC) remain as a dumping ground.
Well, we have seen certain policies being taken up to make the city clean. Door to door waste collection has been introduced in 2007, and by 2018 ten (10) NGOs has been engaged to collect household garbage from all the household under the jurisdiction of IMC. As per agreement with the NGOs and the IMC, the waste from every household has to be collected every day. However, till today, NGOs which were engaged for the collection of household waste collected only once a week and in some areas the collector came only thrice a month. The Comptroller Auditor General of India has even reported this.
In yesterday's issue, we have reported about the loopholes in the policy programme of the government in their effort to keep the city clean base on the report of the CAG.
So far, no action against any NGOs engaged in the collection of garbage, which had violated the agreement has been taken up.
A mere show by cheap publicity that will not last long is not what the people expected.
Interestingly, some intellectuals who were hired by the government and visited only once or twice to complete their thesis keep blaming the ignorance of the common people who have less knowledge of saving the environment as survival is more important for them. Schemes and projects always turn a flop show as they were prepared on the table without studying the need of the people. And the money which is meant for the environment is a gold mine for those working on the table.
Well, the challenges before the country particularly in the state of Manipur is to preserve and protect the natural environment or revive it where it has been degraded. It must be remembered that the problem of environmental degradation is a social problem which has to be solved by the people themselves with some sort of policy and programme from the government
A short term course in Ecology and Environmental Awareness should be arranged for the benefit of the elected representatives starting from PRI, Municipalities, corporation, MLAs, MPs, Development planners, and administrators which would give them a proper understanding of nature, the importance of flora and fauna and other natural resources especially forest wealth and their management.

About the Author

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 25+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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