PM Narendra Modi says Sardar Sarovar Survives Conspiracy With Cores Of Rupees Of Global Donations,
NEW DELHI, Sep 23 (The CONNECT) - Stressing the importance of co-existence of the economy and ecology, Prime Minister Narendra Modi cautioned the environment ministers to beware of urban Naxals trying to derail development works.
Picking out the delay in executing the Sardar Sarovar project initiated by Jawaharlal Nehru, Modi squarely blamed the conspiracy by urban Naxals by taking crores of rupees from various global organisations. The World Bank has for long refused to fund the project due to the conspiracy, he alleged inaugurating the National Conference of Environment Ministers in Ekta Nagar, Gujarat via video conferencing.
“It took some time to thwart these conspiracies, but the people of Gujarat came out victorious. The dam was being described as a threat to the environment, and today the same dam has become synonymous with protecting the environment”, the Prime Minister said.
He lamented the fact that for a long time the Environment Ministries got shaped more as a regulator. “I think that the role of the Environment Ministry is more as a promoter of the environment rather than as a regulator.”
Pointing out that more than 6,000 proposals for environmental clearance and 6,500 applications for forest clearance are lying with the states, the PM said efforts should be made by the states to clear every proper proposal soon.
“You can guess that due to this pendency, projects worth thousands of crores of rupees will be stuck.”, he argued.
The Prime Minister, however, stated that in giving environmental clearance, we also take care of the rules and give priority to the development of the people of that area. “It is a win-win situation for both the economy and ecology”, he said.
“It should be our endeavour that by raising the name of the environment unnecessarily, no obstacle should be allowed to be created in the quest of Ease of Living and Ease of Doing Business. We have to remember that the faster the environment clearance is available, the faster the development will also take place.”
He asked the states to own the measures like Vehicle Scrapping policy, and biofuel measures like ethanol blending and strengthen them on the ground. He asked for healthy competition as well as collaboration among the states to promote these measures.
The Prime Minister remarked that today the world is joining India because of its track record of fulfilling its commitments. “Lions, tigers, elephants, one-horned rhinos and leopards have increased in numbers over the years. New excitement has returned from the homecoming of Cheetah in Madhya Pradesh a few days ago”, the Prime Minister added.
Referring to the net zero target for the year 2070, the Prime Minister said that the focus of the country is on green growth and green jobs. He stressed the need to maintain equilibrium with nature. He also highlighted the role of the environment ministries of the states in achieving these goals. The Prime Minister said, “I urge all environment ministers to promote a circular economy as much as possible in the states.”
Throwing light on the groundwater issues, the Prime Minister said that the states with abundant water are also facing water shortages nowadays.
The challenges and measures like chemical-free natural farming, Amrit Sarovar and water security, are not limited to the individual departments and the environment department will also have to consider these as an equally pressing challenge, he pointed out.
“It is critical to work with a participative and integrated approach by the environment ministries. When the vision of the environment ministries changes, I am sure, nature will also be benefitted.”
While stressing that this work is not just limited to Information Department or the Education Department, the Prime Minister said that public awareness is another important aspect of protecting the environment.
“As you all are well aware that in the National Education Policy that has been implemented in the country, a lot of emphasis has been laid on experienced-based learning”, he said.
This campaign, he said, should be led by the Ministry of Environment. This will create awareness about biodiversity among the children and will also plant the seeds of protecting the environment.
“Children who live in our coastal areas should also be taught how to protect the marine ecosystem. We have to make our children, and future generations sensitive toward the environment”, the Prime Minister added. The universities and laboratories of our states should give top priority to innovations related to environmental protection, following the mantra of Jai Anusandhan.
The Prime Minister also underlined the adoption of technology in protecting the environment. “Study and research on the conditions of forests in the forests are equally important”, Modi said.
Focussing on the alarming rate of forest fires in the western world, the Prime Minister remarked that India's share in global emissions may be negligible due to wildfire, but we have to stay alert at all times. The Prime Minister emphasised that the forest fire fighting mechanism in every state should be technology driven and robust. Modi also stressed the training of our forest guards, should be given special emphasis when it comes to forest fire fighting.
The Prime Minister also identified the role of urban naxals in hindering the development of India by taking crores of rupees from different global organizations and foundations. The Prime Minister also pointed out the conspiracies of such people due to which the World Bank had refused to give a loan to increase the height of the dam.
Modi gave the example of the Pragati Maidan Tunnel in Delhi that was dedicated to the nation a few weeks ago. “Due to this tunnel, the trouble of the people of Delhi getting stuck in the jam has reduced. Pragati Maidan Tunnel will also help in saving more than 55 lakh litres of fuel every year”, he said. This will reduce carbon emissions by about 13 thousand tonnes every year which is equivalent to more than 6 lakh trees, according to experts.
“Be it flyovers, roads, expressways, or railway projects, their construction helps in reducing carbon emissions equally. At the time of clearance, we should not ignore this angle,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister emphasised the use of the Parivesh Portal, a single-window mode for all types of clearances related to the environment while stressing its transparency and efficacy in reducing the rush for getting approvals. “Where environment clearance used to take more than 600 days 8 years ago, it takes 75 days today”, the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister pointed out that the coordination in infrastructure projects has escalated while many projects have gained momentum since the implementation of PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan. The PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan is also a great tool for protecting the environment. He also stressed the need for disaster-resilient infrastructure.
He said that we have to make good use of every emerging sector of the economy while facing the challenges related to climate change. “Both the central and the state government together have to move towards a green industrial economy”, the Prime Minister added.
Taking forward the spirit of cooperative federalism, Conference is being convened to create further synergy amongst the Central and State Governments in formulating better policies on issues such as Elimination of Plastic Pollution through a multi-pronged approach, State Action Plans to combat Climate Change with a focus on LiFE effectively- Lifestyle for Environment. It will also focus on increasing the forest cover with particular emphasis on restoration of degraded land and wildlife conservation.