The Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command (SNC) Vice Admiral Anil K. Chawla inaugurated a plastic waste handling facility at naval base Kochi. He also released a bird book, Kaleidoscope: Feathered Friends @ KatariBagh, on the occasion as part of environment friendly initiatives of SNC at Kochi.
This pilot project has been successfully implemented through the Ernakulam district administration as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project by the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) at an approximate cost of Rs 46 lakh and has been implemented by the Steel Industries Kerala Limited (SILK). The facility with a capacity to recycle about 150 kg plastic per hour will be owned and operated by INS Venduruthy on behalf of the SNC. The facility is capable of processing both soft and hard plastic waste into shredded plastic which can be used for various recycled options. This pioneer facility at Naval Base, Kochi is a remarkable step towards effective and scientific handling of plastic waste in the community and the SNC endeavour to ensure zero plastic waste going out at Naval Base, Kochi.
SNC has also been initiating and encouraging other measures towards conservation of nature and the release of book on birds in Katari Bagh was aimed at generating awareness about the environmental ecosystem at Kochi. Under the patronage and guidance of Vice Admiral A.K. Chawla, an environmentalist and an avid birder, a study was undertaken by Commander Digvijay Singh Sikarwar to catalogue the birds in the premises of Katari Bagh. This study is first of its kind at SNC and was undertaken over a period of three years, wherein 74 different species/ varieties of birds have been recorded from Katari Bagh. This has also been published in a field guide format for larger benefit of SNC parivar. The book contains photographs of birds taken mostly inside Katari Bagh along with their specific characteristics and also includes tips for bird conservation so as to encourage SNC parivar towards preservation of our environment.
Speaking on the occasion, the Commander-in-Chief, while acknowledging that the plastic waste recycling project is a result of coordination and support of multiple agencies, highlighted that there is a collective need to restore the pristine beauty of God’s own country by preserving its biodiversity as there is only one Earth for all of us. He personally complemented the painstaking efforts taken by Commander Sikarwar in chronicling the birds of the area. He further reiterated the fact that the area in and around Katari bagh, including Vathuruthy village is being sought to be converted into a model ward in Kochi through waste disposal measures such as this. He also urged the District Collector to consider setting up a sewage treatment plant at Vathuruthy for the benefit of the migrant population residing there.
Rear Admiral M.D. Suresh, Chief of Staff, SNC, S. Suhas, District Collector, Ernakulam, Commodore N.A.J. Joseph, Commanding Officer INS Venduruthy, and Commander P. Suresh, Managing Director, SILK, besides some select naval personnel were present during the inauguration.