MUMBAI: Lauding the efforts of ragpickers who segregate and recycle waste in cities, the Centre has decided to roll out an award for them starting next year, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said today.
"Ragpicking is an informal but an important sector from a very long time. Ragpickers toil hard all day long only to segregate and recycle waste materials generated by cities. In order to recognise their hard work and their commitment towards keeping the society clean, the Environment Ministry has decided to roll out an award for them next year onwards," Javadekar told reporters here.
He was addressing a press conference detailing the achievements of his ministry in the last one year.
Javadekar said that along with an award specifically for ragpickers, the government will also work towards improving their health and living standards.
On Mumbai's 35-km long coastal project that will connect Nariman Point to Kandivali in the western suburbs, Javadekar said there will be minimum reclamation of coastal land and no commercial activity will be permitted on the reclaimed land.
"Only the citizens will have access to the green-zones along the coastal road. We have put forth conditions that marine life should not be hit by the project. The state government has also assured us that the sanctity of the high tide will be maintained," he said.
Javadekar said that his ministry plans to start a school nursery programme for young students, where they will be given seeds and a specifically-made bag to sow it.
"They will be asked to nurture the plants for 2-3 years and later, they will be allowed to take it home and plant it either at their homes or in the vicinity," he said.