Prime Minister Narendra Modi today made a scathing attack on Urban Naxals for their continuous efforts to stop development projects in the country.
Addressing the inaugural session of the two day National Conference of Environment Ministers being held at Ekta Nagar, Statue of Unity, Gujarat, PM Modi said development projects in the country have been intentionally targeted by the Urban Naxals on false narrative of environment conservation.
He said Environment and Forest Clearances have been used as an excuse to topple development projects in the country. “Several Global Institutions and Foundations backed by Urban Naxals want to stop the development and use these environment and forest clearances as an excuse to halt the development projects’ ‘, PM Modi said adding that these people even try to influence World Bank and Judiciary at times to achieve their evil designs.
Citing an example of the Sardar Sarovar Project, PM said the project whose foundation stone was laid by First Prime Minister Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, could only see the light of the day when he became the Prime Minister. He said while Urban Naxals tried to scuttle the project, the Sardar Sarovar project after its completion today is benefiting four states of the country.
Making startling revelations, the PM disclosed that 6000 projects were pending for ‘environmental clearances’ whereas another 6500 projects were awaiting forest clearances. He said due to this pendency, people are deprived of benefits from these projects, even as their construction costs escalate manifold with the passage of time.
He apprised that his government has come up with a Parivesh Portal that has been set up to provide a single window for all clearances for the development projects. He said the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan was also extremely beneficial to the states even as the environment is also being protected simultaneously.
Referring to forest fires, PM Modi called for the strengthening of Forest fire fighting mechanisms. He said forest fires have been a big challenge not only for India but also for developed countries elsewhere. He called upon the states to have a forest fire plan ready to counter such challenges.
“Every state should have a forest fire plan and it should be technology driven one”, PM said.
The Prime Minister also took the opportunity to refer to the concept of Circular Economy on the occasion. He appealed for sincere efforts toward recycling waste, which was the basis of Circular Economy. Appealing to the Environment Ministers to promote Circular Economy, PM Modi said “Our campaigns on Solid Waste Management and eradication of single-use plastic will also be strengthened by giving encouragement to the Circular Economy”
He referred to the recent initiative taken by his government in the form of the Vehicle Scrapping Policy. “To make the Circular economy more vibrant, We have recently come up with a Vehicle scrapping policy”, PM said & appealed the States to come up with a plan to ensure its full proof implementation
Modi also reminded that recycling waste for use has been part of our tradition and heritage and should not be taken as an act of being a miser
Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav and Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendrabhai Patel also addressed the inaugural session. Forest ministers from across the country are attending the conference.