|Union Minister of State Prakash Javadekar|
At a public meeting recently held in the city of Pune, Union Minister of State for Forest and Environment Prakash Javadekar announced that satellite mapping of riverbed excavations and public participation in the conservation of seventeen endangered species is needed. The purpose of this meeting was to address the dangers affecting India's natural environment imposed by the so-called sand mining mafia which is running rampant in the country and tackling it. Minister Javadekar indicated that scientific methods will be ratified to combat this problem and a national workshop has been scheduled on March 27 with all troubled authorities. He further added that it has been decided to conduct satellite image mapping every November across India to see where sand has been transferred in riverbeds. After the workshop, extensive suggestions will be welcomed from participants and a final plan will be outlined regarding the battle against the sand mining mafia. The issue of this matter goes back to the recent suicide of IAS officer D.K Ravi in Bangalore, in which the sand mining mafia is strongly purported. Other assaults on activists and officials investigating this issue have been widely recorded over the years in the state of Maharashtra, in areas like Pandharpur. Another issue centered on various endangered species known to be on the verge of extinction. In order to protect them, the government of India is now requesting public participation. Among these species include the great Indian bustard, snow leopard, vultures, and many others. According to experts, the announcement highlighted the drastically decreasing number of vultures faltering under the effects of diclofenac and the great Indian bustard which is now found in sparse numbers in the grasslands of Maharashtra's Solapur district and Rajasthan. These issues and more are scheduled to be discussed in a workshop for politicians on April 6 and 7 in New Delhi. Minister Javadekar indicated that the among the attendees will be Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the workshop will focus forest conservation through a people-centric campaign, restricting various types of pollution, waste management tactics, and the action plan on climate change.
The recent announcement made by Minister Javadekar probably highlights the beginning of a new form of crusade in tackling India's environmental issues. The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) is now requesting the public to actively participate in the protection and preservation of India's endangered species such as the great Indian bustard and vultures. The great Indian bustard's population has been reduced dramatically across India due to habitat destruction and poaching, and is now thriving in scanty numbers. This magnificent bird is on the verge of extinction and it is highly essential that the public must step up to help save it from being completely eradicated from the face of the earth. Same goes to the vulture population which has been reduced drastically as a result of diclofenac. Without vultures, the human population of India would become prone to diseases spread by carcasses of dead animals.Although diclofenac has been taken off the market since 2006, it is still available in certain parts of the country. As a result, India's vultures continue to live on the edge unless the public puts more effort in adopting new strategies to protect them from further depletion. Furthermore, the sand mining mafia and the timber mafia are another major threats that are contributing to the depletion of India's natural environment. It is necessary to target these organized criminal syndicates and severely prosecute them under full extent of the law even though they are known to have political power. Just because an individual or a group of individual has connections with any political organization does not mean they are untouchable and are an exception to the rule. If such people having ties to politics are found to be involved in anything ludicrous or morally wrong, they should be severely punished - no questions asked.
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