State Government has imposed ban on single-use plastic in Himachal Pradesh since 2009 and now it was working to find suitable alternatives to plastic. The government is committed to environmental protection and has made various provisions in the budget to improve the state’s climate. This was stated by the Chief Minister, Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu while presiding over ‘Enviro-Ideation Hackathon’ organised by the Himachal Pradesh State Pollution Control Board (HPSPCB) at Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-Central Potato Research Institute (CPRI) Shimla today.
The state government is promoting the production of green hydrogen and has signed an agreement with Oil India Limited in this regard, he added. He said that despite economic restrictions imposed by the Central Government due to the restoration of the old pension system, the present State Government is determined to move forward. He assured that the Government will consider the demand for old pension to employees of the Pollution Control Board sympathetically. He also highlighted the government’s efforts to integrate technology with governance.
The Chief Minister also mentioned the efforts made in the last five months to revamp the system for a better future. He said that the government is focused on bringing the economy back on track, converting HRTC diesel buses into e-buses, establishing quality education through Rajiv Gandhi Day Boarding Schools and introducing robotic surgery in healthcare facilities. The state government has adopted 6000 orphan children as ‘Children of the State’ and would provide a helping hand to them for pursuing higher education and other expenses. The Chief Minister awarded cash prizes and certificates to the winners of the Enviro-Ideation Hackathon.
Pragun Jaiswal and Zubair Ahmad Safi from Sundernagar College received the first prize of Rs. 1 lakh, while O. Sadish and Priyanka from Dr. Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, district Solan won the second prize of Rs. 75,000. Kritika Sharma from Himachal Pradesh University Shimla secured the third position, whereas Mohit Kumar Singh, Manish Thakur and Sujaan Sawant from NIT Hamirpur came fourth while Shreya Dhiman from NIT Hamirpur was ranked fifth. In the ‘Waste to Wonder’ Model Competition, the first prize went to Akash Bharadwaj, Karan Chauhan, Nirbhay Raj from Saraswati Paradise International School Sanjauli. Niyassa Shyam, Anchal Chauhan, and Neeraj Verma from GSSS Portmore secured the second position and Kajal, Sakshi, and Pooja Thakur from GSSS Tutikandi stood third.
Principal Advisor (IT & Innovations) Gokul Butail thanked the Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu for launching various innovative initiatives for environmental protection and said that steps have to be taken towards waste-do-energy so that the challenges of the future can be tackled. Earlier, Member Secretary of HPSPCB, Anil Joshi, welcomed the Chief Minister and detailed out various activities of the Board. Chairman HPSPCB Sanjay Gupta presented a cheque of Rs. 2 crore to the Chief Minister towards Chief Minister Relief Fund on the occasion. MLAs Harish Janartha and Kewal Singh Pathania, Mayor Shimla Municipal Corporation Surender Chauhan, Deputy Mayor Uma Kaushal, OSD to the Chief Minister Gopal Sharma, Deputy Commissioner Aditya Negi, and other prominent persons were also present.