Speakers express serious concern over depletion of Ozone layer

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IMPHAL, Sept 16: Most of the speakers while observing state-level World Ozone Day in Imphal on Saturday expressed their serious concern over the report of depletion of Ozone layer in the earth’s atmosphere.

Ozone, a chemical and a bluish gas, lies concentrated as a thin layer enveloping the earth at a height of about 24 to 30 kilometres high above ground. This is Ozone layer, according to experts.

However industrialisation has been severely affecting the natural system of this Ozone layer, according to Prof N Rajmuhon Singh of Manipur University’s chemistry department.

CFC which is commonly used in refrigerator, air-conditioners, paints, cosmetics etc helps in depleting Ozone layers if it is released in the atmosphere as it cannot be absorbed by plants unlike carbon dioxide, Prof Rajmuhon said.

So the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances that are responsible for ozone depletion, was signed (by representatives of 24 countries )on September 16,1987, he said. The ozone layer protects life on earth from potentially harmful effects. The signatories of Montreal Protocol committed themselves to reduce and get rid of the chemicals which cause depletion of the valuable ozone layer.

Commemorating the day and importance of Ozone in human life, Manipur also joined in observing World Ozone Day under the aegis Directorate of Environment, Department of Forests and GP Women’s College at the latter’s college campus on Saturday.

Minister Forests and Environment, Horticulture and Soil Conservation, MAHUD and Town Planning Thounaojam Shyamkumar was the chief guest of the observation. Additional chief secretary (Forests and Environment) Shambhu Singh and director Y Nabachandra of environment department and principal Dr B Lalhari Sharma of GP Women’s College also attended the function.

Speaking on the occasion, minister Shyamkumar expressed the need to plant more trees to safeguard the earth from the green house effect besides reducing using of the chemicals which causes ozone layer depletion.

Stating that removing Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) costs India Rs 1,500 crore and removing Hydro Fluoro Carbon (HFC) costs India Rs 3,500 crore, additional chief secretary Shambhu Singh questioned whether the relatively poor countries be subsidising the richer countries for their comfort.

Stating that the day is being observed to spread awareness on the ozone layer, its depletion and ways to preserve it, Prof Rajmuhon also suggested that children should be made aware of the environmental issues by including the topics in their syllabus. Deputy director Th Bhogen of the directorate of environment also spoke on the occasion.

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