New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday warned against the “conspiracies of urban Naxals” saying they create a storm to hamper developmental projects with political backing and even influence World Bank and the judiciary.
Giving an example Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada river, the Prime Minister said it was stalled for many years owing to a campaign designed to project a picture that it would harm the environment.
“Sardar Sarovar Dam was stalled. It was described as anti-environment. Pandit Nehru had laid its foundation… Urban Naxals continued to protest in the name of the environment. It was developed after my arrival,” the Prime Minister said.
He was addressing the National Conference of Environment Ministers in Ekta Nagar of Gujarat aimed at creating synergy amongst the Central and State Governments on environmental issues.
“Without modern infrastructure, the development of the country, the effort to improve the living standards of the countrymen, is not possible.
“We have seen how the construction of modern infrastructure in the country was entangled in the name of environment clearances,” the Prime Minister said.
“Urban Naxals are still not silent. Many global institutions and foundations create a storm to stop development in India. Urban Naxals keep dancing to their tunes to hamper India’s development… they create such a storm that they even influence the World Bank and the Judiciary in the country,” the Prime Minister added.
He urged the state governments to adopt a holistic approach to deal with the conspiracies of such people.
Addressing the environment ministers gathered from across the country, the Prime Minister said that India is a rapidly developing economy and it is continuously strengthening its ecology.
Our forest cover has increased and the area of wetlands is also increasing rapidly, he said.
“It is because of our track record of fulfilling our commitments that the world is joining India today. Gir lions, tigers, elephants, one-horned rhinos, and leopards have increased in numbers over the years,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that the recent homecoming of Cheetah in Madhya Pradesh has brought in new enthusiasm among the people.
He said that India has set a target of Net Zero emissions by the year 2070 and the focus of the country is on green growth and on green jobs.
The Prime Minister urged all Environment Ministers to promote a circular economy as much as possible in the states.
This will also give strength to our campaign of Solid Waste Management, he said.
Modi also urged state Environment Ministries to promote the Biofuel policy.
He said ethanol production and ethanol blending shall be increased to promote healthy competition among states.
“States can lead various initiatives for a sustainable future, we need to promote healthy competition amongst states for accomplishing sustainability goals,” he added.
The Prime Minister also touched upon the growing problem of forest fires. He said that a proactive and technology-driven forest fire management system is needed in every state to protect forest fires.
He said that the depleting groundwater levels in states where the water was in abundance are a challenge that requires attention not only from the water resources department but also from the environment departments.