CHENNAI: Stating that conservation constituted an important part of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s ‘Tamil Nadu Vision-2023 policy,’ Minister for Environment Thoppu N D Venkatachalam on Thursday said the government had directed the setting up of more than 3,000 environment clubs in schools across the State to promote awareness among youth.
Participating in the ‘World Environment Day’ celebrations organised by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board here, he pointed out that land, water and air were available only limited supply. “Hence, it is our duty to protect these natural resources and leave them for the use of future generations,” he said.
Distributing awards to non-government organisations, companies and experts who had contributed to environment protection through education and awareness programmes, the minister said, whenever the chief minister assumed office, she introduced policies and programmes aimed at the promotion and protection of the environment in the State. It was in 1995 that a separate department for environment was created for the first time in the State.
In 2002, when she assumed office for the second time, an environment brigade was created. Around 3.2 lakh students were members of the brigade. Besides, environmental clubs were set up in 8,000 schools in 32 districts. In 2013-14, the government ordered the setting up of 3,200 more clubs in schools. Environmental conservation and promotion also played an important role in the chief minister’s ‘Tamil Nadu Vision-2023’, Venkatachalam said.
The minister stressed that while industrial growth and development were essential for the welfare of society and the future generations, it was also essential to conserve natural resources like land, water and air.