CEED urges all the political parties in UP to extend their support to include the Public Manifesto on Environment in their agendas in the upcoming UP election.
Along with civil society groups active in Uttar Pradesh, CEED unfurled the 100% UP Campaign banner at Triveni Sangam in Allahabad on Saturday. The event was marked with a boat rally in collaboration with several boat riders at Sangam that extended their wholehearted support to the campaign towards clean rivers and clean environment.
The campaign was launched last month that aims for sustainable development of the state with establishing renewable energy as main source of energy and setting sustainable action plan for clean air, clean water access and effective waste management. Uncontrolled growth and unsustainable urbanization has created a havoc in Uttar Pradesh, the most populace state of India with four of it’s cities listed as world’s 20 most polluted cities.
Climate change, the biggest socio-environmental crisis of modern era, has also hit the state hard because of its massive vulnerable and economically weaker population. The 2005 inventory suggest that UP is the highest CO2 emitting state in India with contribution of nearly 14% greenhouse gases. Further, 85 million people including 5 million in urban areas, of the state are still living without access to modern electricity. Lack of proper solid waste disposal system further adds to the crisis, causing significant adverse impact on quality of lives and public health as well as degrading natural resources like land, water and air.
Shedding light on the 100% UP Campaign at the event, Ms. Surabhi Shikha, Programmes Head at CEED said that climate change is a hard hitting reality; we cannot afford to delay any further and must make immediate amendments to safeguard the environment now. The air is getting more and more toxic by the day, and the pollution in the water bodies has reached to a severe level. Improper waste management and the increasing dependency on fossil fuels has further accelerated the environmental issues. The campaign aims to to raise awareness and gather support from 10 lakh people with the help of civil society groups across UP. The support received shall become a unanimous voice that demands from the political parties to include it in their manifesto during the the upcoming state assembly elections in 2017. There has to be absolute political consensus to eradicate pollution from our daily lives, Ms. Shikha further added.
The event also marked an open house discussion with participation from civil society groups in Allahabad along with teachers, youth communities and journalists. Anil Singh Bhadoria from Rajshri Tandon Open University said that Allahabad is the pious city of Sangam where Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati meet. However, due to uncontrolled pollution in the past years, the rivers in the city are at a dismal state. The 100% UP Campaign amplifies the voices of the community and of the civil society groups who have been working towards reducing pollution levels in the city.
This effort shall urge the government to implement aggressive policies to protect the environment, he concluded. The 100% UP Campaign started two months back and has since, moved around the state and hosted various events, open house discussions, workshops, parliamentary debates, street plays, and other media events. Through these events, the campaign has managed to engage with different civil society groups, youth communities, political leaders, media personnels and the citizens of UP to support the campaign and urge their political parties to pay heed to their demands. The campaign recently released the Public Manifesto on Environment in Lucknow which was well attended and supported by the spokesperson from all the political parties in UP.