Nayak regrets move to set up plants are opposed without reason

President of Udupi Zilla Panchayat Upendra Nayak on Wednesday said that the government had allocated Rs. 20 lakh each to five gram panchayats (GPs) across five Assembly constituencies in the district to set up solid waste management plants.

Addressing the World Environment Day function organised jointly by the district administration, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and Department of Public Instruction, Mr. Nayak said the setting up of plants would help areas within the five gram panchayats to maintain cleanliness.

He regretted that move to set up treatment plants evoke opposition from some sections of society although they play a major role in ensuring cleaner environment. He urged the people to change their mindsets on disposal of waste.

Environmental biologist N.A. Madhyastha said that packaged food was the worst enemy of environment. The cost of transportation and preservation is very high as expensive preservatives are used to maintain their freshness. “If people have concern for environment, they should give up consuming packaged food,” he said.

Dr. Madhyastha said that nearly 30 per cent of food produced in the U.S. was wasted every year. Stressing on the importance of followed local food habits, he said consumption of fresh food had been given importance in India.

About six decades ago, villages used to grow food grains or vegetables required for their consumption. In the absence of cold storage facilities people consumed fresh food, which also meant there was little scope for wastage. But with improvement in storage facilities people have started consuming packaged food resulting in increased wastage, Dr. Madhyastha said.

Rajashekhar Puranik, environment officer of KSPCB said that according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), every year 1.3 billion tonnes of food was wasted. This was equivalent to the amount of food produced in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa.

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