Thursday, December 29, 2016

India's environment ministry stands for everything that destroys environment!

In today's pick, I am compelled to give this statement regarding our Environment Ministry.

I can very well read between the lines from an interview of the Minister in an interview published in Times of India. India's environment minister clears air on some of the hypocrisies his ministry has been living with. The plan is to destroy more forests, kill wild life and please corporate masters. What he also exposes is the lie the government had spoken the other day reg the Ken-Betwa link project. Even though essential clearances have not been obtained, Uma Bharti said all hurdles have been cleared for the link. Or she actually meant to say, "the clearances have already been fixed, so nothing to worry!!!"

You can find the interview here:

We need to control animal populations: Anil Madhav Dave

 | Dec 30, 2016, 04.12 AM IST

Minister of state for environment, forests and climate change Anil Madhav Davesays he is committed to conservation, but feels that certain animal populations need to be controlled by means other than culling to contain man-animal conflict. He also speaks on GM foods, Western Ghat conservation and climate change. Excerpts from a conversation with TOI :

National Board for Wildlife has cleared the Ken-Betwa river linking project. When will environment and forest clearances follow?
Both clearances are expected soon. We want this project to be completed. We want this to happen so that we can do a cost-benefit analysis and move accordingly. Both forest and environment clearances may come simultaneously.

Uttarakhand dam projects have become controversial, in view of the ecologically fragile nature of the region. How will you act to protect environment and ensure ecological flow of Ganga?
We are looking at all aspects of such projects very carefully. Final decision will be taken in consultation with all stakeholders, keeping in mind the environment of the region, employment and electricity needs of the people of Uttarakhand. It will take 2-3 more months to arrive at a final decision.

Has any decision been taken on commercial release of genetically modified mustard?
No. The matter is still with an expert sub-committee of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee. It will come to me once the subcommittee takes a decision. Any decision will be taken on the basis of science, and that too on science that has not been twisted by presenting wrong data. We want to take a correct decision so that 10-20 years later, no one can say it was a wrong decision.

The draft of National Wildlife Action Plan (2017-31) is ready. Is there a timeline to come out with the final plan?
We have not yet finalised a date but it will be soon. Our track record and our practices in wildlife conservation are very good. The world is looking at us, the way we conserve tigers, elephants and rhinos. But at the same time, we will also have to think about fixing an upper limit of animal population to avoid risks to farmers and human settlements. We have seen how monkeys, pigs and nilgais make lives of people, specifically farmers, difficult. We have to think about them when such animals destroy their crops — their hard work of four-five months.

Can we go for selective and supervised culling, the way it is practised in some western countries?
No. We won't go for such an option. India is a country where people believe in non-violent action. Violent actions are not acceptable here.

Then how will you control animal population?
We also have increasing instances of leopards entering human settlements.

That's why I am talking about fixing an upper limit for animal populations, keeping in mind habitat and other resources. We need to look at ways (through scientific interventions) to control their populations. Conservation of wildlife is a serious issue. At the same time, controlling their population is also a serious issue. We have to think about the issue of animal management to avoid man-animal conflict and animal-animal conflict.

NDA rule has seen a number of environment clearances which critics find detrimental to environment.
I firmly believe that environment protection and development can go hand in hand. Whatever you do, there will be some who will always criticise. We want to take the right decisions for the larger interest of people while taking care of the environment. Why would you stop industries which follow rules and adhere to best practices in protecting environment? We took balanced and correct decisions.


No comments:

Post a Comment