Workshop begins on climate change impacts at PU

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CHANDIGARH: The Panjab University (PU) Vice-Chancellor Prof. R.C. Sobti said here today that the PU is set to become a role model in checking environmental degradation through complete pollution control. The campus, he said, was already free from smoke and unbiodegradable waste. He elaborated the measures taken by Panjab University to make its campus environment friendly by declaring it “No Smoking Zone”.

To take a lead in checking air pollution, the university will encourage use of bicycles and hostel accommodation would not be provided to the first year students of any class having cars. The university, Prof. Sobti said, has decided to give interest free loans to all students and staff members who would like to buy bicycles. He stressed the need for adopting modern irrigational techniques to conserve the water resources.

Inaugurating a workshop on “Climate Change and its Impacts on Water Resources-Adaptation Issues” organised by Global Hydrogeological Solutions in collaboration with Department of Geology of the PU, Prof. Sobti informed that a committee has already been constituted to find out ways on how the unwanted use of cars by students and staff members could be discouraged.

Prof. Sobti said the climate change has affected society through impacts on water, energy, housing, transportation, food, health and ecosystem. As such, the development agenda has to include urgent measures at local, national and international levels. The university, Prof. Sobti, said has set apart a grant of Rs eight crore received for Water Recharging Project under which 54 tubewells are planned to be sunk besides other rainwater harvesting measures.

Exploring concern over pollution of rivers, like the Ganges, and fast disappearing glaciers on the Badrinath and Kedarnath road, and near Hemkunt Sahib, Prof. Sobti said even the presence of fog has changed its natural course of prevalence leading to unexpected obstruction in rail, road and air traffic.

The Vice-Chancellor Prof. R.C. Sobti offered Visiting Professorship to Dr Dinesh Pande, Director (Exploration) ONGC; Dr D.K. Chadha, President, Global Hydrogeological Solutions and Dr. S.C. Dhiman, Chairman, Central Ground Water Board to honour them subject to the approval of the University Syndicate.

Som Pal, former member Planning Commission of India who was the Chief Guest on the occasion emphasized that the government should consider the water resources as a significant resource. He opined that the selective conservative measures for ground water and management of surface water should be given priority over the other departmental activities. He showed his disagreement on the water linkage plans which according to him are costlier and do not serve the purpose which can be attained by water harvesting and other artificial re-charge practices.

Dinesh Pande, Director (Exploration) ONGC explained the programmes carried out by ONGC for management and development of water resources as a policy programme to protect environment.

Earlier, Prof. G.S. Gill, Chairman, department of Geology, P.U. welcomed the dignitaries and delegates. He mentioned about the efforts made by Mr Dinesh Pande for starting a two-day Petroleum Geology Course in the Department and informed that it is no more an acquisition of the department. He thanked Dr D.K. Chadha for collaborating with the project to organise the Workshop.

Dr D.K. Chadha, President, Global Hydrogeological Solutions, New Delhi in his address introduced the theme of the Workshop and talked about the measures to be taken to conserve the valuable resources of ground water.

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This post was submitted by Mudit Agrawal.

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