HYDERABAD: The ministry of environment and forests, till date, is perceived to be a ministry of roadblocks and speed breakers. But, Union minister of state for environment and forests Prakash Javadekar says that Narendra Modi government was able to change the perception of the department over the past six months. The ministry will now work with the twin agenda of environmental protection and development, he says.
‘’I had inherited a negative legacy through the ministry. The government, however, was able to change the perception about it in the last six months,’’ Javadekar said speaking to reporters here on Thursday.
‘’My ministry is seen as a ministry of roadblocks, speed breakers and where delays happen,’’ he said adding, ‘‘We changed everything. It was non-transparent, we made it transparent. This is a big difference we brought to the process of environment and forest clearances.” He mentioned that there was a good sentiment among investors all over the world about India and it was one of the contribution by the ministry.
On the other side, Javadekar said they were acting tough on those who are violating environmental norms.
‘’Modi government was taking stern action against the companies which are not following environment norms. And to drive a message that there cannot be no compromise on air, water quality and preserving wildlife, we closed down 46 industries along the banks of Ganga,’’ he said.
Javadekar, however, made it clear that the action (closure of polluting industries) does not mean they are against development. The focus is on development without destruction and delays. Stating clear their stand, Javadekar said, ‘’Ek haath mey paryavaran raksha ka janda, doosre haath mey vikaas ka agenda (Environmental protection on one hand and development agenda on the other).
He said that the ministry has taken many initiatives some of them involve bringing transparency to the environment and forest clearance procedure.
He also stated that pollution norms were made more stringent starting with cement industry and the norms will be put into practice in the coming months.
On the issue of smuggling of red sanders logs, he said the issue had become a persisting problem in Andhra Pradesh.
The minister said they were taking a serious note of sanders smuggling in the state and will take steps to curb the menace.