Arunachal has a big role to play in dealing with climate change, says Khandu

State cabinet to discuss climate change issues

ITANAGAR, 17 Aug: Being a part of the Himalayas and having one of the largest forest covers in the country, Arunachal has a big role to play in dealing with climate change and global warming, said Chief Minister Pema Khandu, chairing the 7th e-Pragati meeting virtually here on Tuesday.

The state government has prepared Climate Change Management Mission- 2047, a roadmap for the state to contribute in the global efforts to minimize and mitigate climate change.

The chief minister informed that the next cabinet meeting, scheduled for Thursday, will exclusively discuss climate change, and directed the environment & forests department to submit the detailed Climate Change Management Mission-2047 document for the purpose.

“Human activities have increased carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, driving up temperatures. Extreme weather and melting glaciers are being witnessed, which are a threat to all forms of life on earth. We cannot sit idle on it,” Khandu said.

As per records, the state witnessed an increased annual mean temperature of 0.05 degree per year and 0.59 degree Celsius in the last 40 years. Further, between 1980 and 2019, a significant decreasing trend in the southwest monsoon rainfall and also in the annual rainfall has been observed, along with an increase in the number of dry spells and a decrease in rainy days.

Prepared by the environment & forests department, the mission envisions achieving the goals in water conservation, habitats, agriculture, forests, disaster management, energy and transport, waste management and health sectors in the next two decades.

“The goals envision to attain climate regulation, increased carbon sinks and reduced CO2 emissions, increased green cover, ecosystem restoration, germplasm conservation, improved livelihood and opportunities, improved health sector, water security, better exposure of climate change to local communities and ecotourism and revenue generation,” the CM said.

It was also decided in the meeting that the state government, through the geology & mining department, would collaborate with the atomic minerals directorate (AMD), a constituent unit of the department of atomic energy (DAE), under the direct control of the PMO, to explore atomic minerals in Arunachal.

AMD Director Dr DK Sinha, joining the meeting from Hyderabad, informed that survey and exploration have been going on in the state since long. He said “the explorations have given encouraging results on possible deposits of uranium, lithium, helium and rare earth elements in Arunachal Pradesh, which are not found anywhere else in the country.”

He offered to collaborate with the state government to specifically focus on exploration of these rare minerals.

Dr Sinha further informed the CM that Arunachal can avail and benefit from a few specific technologies developed by the DAE, which include low footprint bio-granulation plant for sewage treatment, sludge hygienisation plant and biomethanation plant (Nisargaruna) for waste management; development of seeds with enhanced qualities and food irradiation plant in the agriculture sector; water filtration systems for clean drinking water, and technologies for disaster management.

Khandu gave assurance that the department concerned would be in touch with the DAE in this regard, as well as with regard to exploration of atomic minerals. It was also decided to fast-track survey and exploration of dolomite, limestone, tourmaline, base metal and cement-grade limestone in various parts of the state.

“We are going very slow. Some of the surveys began way back in 1969 with no results till date. The department concerned has to wake up and get going,” Khandu said.

Other issues and projects reviewed in the meeting included release of funds by the Centre, expenditure and status of utilization certificates for centrally sponsored schemes, the Prime Minister Awas Yojna, the RURBAN scheme, pending hydro projects, land acquisition for the Hollongi airport and ALGs, installation of 4G telecommunication towers, development of Parashuram Kund, the Miao-Vijayanagar road, etc.

The meeting also decided to observe the 75-week-long Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, for which a draft action plan was discussed. The celebration, a concept of the union culture ministry, will be divided into five key themes. These are ‘freedom struggle, achievements @75, resolve @75, ideas @75 and action @75’.

Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and Agriculture Minister Tage Taki, along with the chief secretary and the finance commissioner attended the meeting with the chief minister from the CMO, while Home Minister Bamang Felix and RWD Minister Honchun Ngandam, along with commissioners, secretaries and deputy commissioners joined the meeting virtually from their respective offices. (CM’s PR Cell)