Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Tuesday launched campaign to plants pollution abating trees in Himachal Pradesh and said World Environment Day was an awakening call for individuals to take charge of protecting the
environment.

Addressing state level function to launch Pollution Abating Plants Abhiyan (PAPA) on World Environment Day at Sundernagar in Mandi district, he said World Environment Day was the ‘people’s day’ for doing something to take care of the Earth.

“Pollution reducing plants would be developed in state nurseries and provided to the people for plantation,” he said.

“Environment is one of the dearest issues for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and environment conservation and cleanliness must become part of our life,” he said.

He urged the students to come forward for environmental conservation and said 67.5 per cent geographical part of the state was covered with
forests but still a lot more needed to be done for effective environment conservation.

Thakur said polythene was rampantly polluting our water bodies, harming marine life and posing a threat to human health and it was one of the major concerns of environmental bodies this year.

“Himachal became first state in the country to ban use of polythene bags,” he said, while advising tourists visiting the state to use jute or paper bags instead of polythene bags.

He said the water crisis in Shimla town was due to the pollution and degradation of water catchment areas, rivers and water bodies supplying water to the town.

The CM said one steel bottle would be provided to each student of government schools in a phased manner to discourage use of plastic bottles under the Mukhiya Mantri Vardi Yojana.

He also urged the parents to buy steel bottles for their children instead of plastic bottles to help in environment conservation.