Union Minister Prakash Javadekar has chalked out plans and listed the top focus areas of the environment ministry for the next three years. The list includes strict compliance of environmental laws, use of technology for reducing air pollution and capacity building of municipal bodies, Javadekar said. Mentioning the achievements of Environment Ministry over the last two years, Javadekar said their efforts resulted in increase in the forest cover, better monitoring of industrial pollution, representation of country’s interest in COP Paris meet and passage of CAMPA bill.
In last two years, 2000 environmental requests were approved which helped unlock an investment of Rs 10 lakh crore which had a potential of generating 10 lakh jobs, he said. Javadekar outlined the roadmap for next three years, saying the ministry will continue taking initiatives for sustainable development.
“A law will be passed for compliance which will act as a deterrent for violation (of green norms). Secondly, to use technology for monitoring of the pollution norms all over the country and thirdly, build capacities in the local bodies because they are the ones who actually deal with the situation of waste management and other things,” Javadekar said while addressing a press conference on ministry’s achievements in the last two years.
Javadekar noted that Delhi’s air pollution has reduced. He said periodic review meeting were held by his ministry with five neighboring states including Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab in order to implement short-term and long term action plans. “There are four-five states that impact air pollution in Delhi and they do not come under Delhi municipal jurisdiction. We called all of them including officials from Delhi government and asked them to prepare a plan. The battle against pollution has to be fought collectively,” he said.
Conservation and development can coexist, says Javadekar
Meanwhile, Javadekar has asserted that India can preserve its rich biodiversity while ensuring the development. “It is a myth that ecological conservation and development can not coexist. It is not correct to see environment and development as being two ends of a spectrum, where one must be compromised in order to enhance the other,” Javadekar said, speaking at an International Biodiversity Day event held in Mumbai last evening.
He said that the concerns of livelihood should be addressed equally while framing policies for environmental protection. The Centre will formulate a policy for conservation of the rich biodiversity of Western Ghats while ensuring that the livelihood of five crore people residing in the region, spread across Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, is not adversely affected, he said.
“India is one of the recognised mega-diverse countries of the world, harbouring nearly 8 per cent of recorded species and representing four biodiversity hotspots,” he said. The minister conceded that ‘jan andolan’ (peoples’ movements) were necessary for biodiversity conservation, and added that many success stories of the environment conservation had not been highlighted by the mainstream media.
Prof R Sukumar of the Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore, in his key-note address called for using ecology and sociology as the basis for conservation in India. He also advocated a “landscape approach” to ecological conservation instead of national parks protected area approach.
(With inputs from PTI)