Balanced approach urgently needed
We asked: As life unlocks, the focus is more on economic growth than environmental sustainability. Green signal is being given to coal mining and setting up of industrial units in so far untouched regions. Do you think this can put environmental health and natural balance in jeopardy? What are your suggestions to minimize negative effects thus generated?
The world is undergoing serious implications of Covid – 19, one of which is the fall in the Indian economy. India’s GDP growth is already at stake and may further lower down amidst this pandemic. Keeping this in mind, the NBWL for coal mining is a part of elephant reserve. Undoubtedly, this pandemic is a big threat to the economy but ignoring environmental sustainability may also have threatening outcomes on biodiversity and nature’s beauty. The government seems to not have environmental stability as its priority as a result of which ever small towns have green signals for coal mining. This can be hazardous to environmental health and natural balance. One of my personal suggestions would be to still maintain the forest cover while carrying out mining activities. Plantation of trees should also be promoted since they are natural purifiers and help in reducing CO2 and even reduce pollution content thus reversing climate change. Things can surely be balance by sticking to environmental norms while focusing on industrial development. -Ankita Pandey, Teacher (St. Xavier’s school)
“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and one another” - Mahatma Gandhi! For developing countries like ours, economic growth seems to be a greater priority than environmental sustainability. In this context, we as well the government tend to forget that it is a vicious circle since the destruction of the environment ultimately leads to the downfall of the economy. As life is unlocking, most of the cities in India are enjoying blue skies but rural areas are being severely affected by the industrial operations and mining activities that are not only leading to high levels of pollution but also toxic effluent discharge. The downcast part is that in the midst of this pandemic there is lack of regulatory control by the government which means that the projects can mine and pollute as they please. Undoubtedly, the quest for the revival of the economy cannot be disregarded, but at the same it wouldn't be wise to grow at the sake of the environment. It is indeed a huge price to pay. After all, the environment is what we all have in common. -Jyoti Tiwari, Student
Topic of the month: Knowing there is such a huge shortage of land that even the agricultural land is being claimed for development works like flyovers, highways, road/rail routes, industrial units etc., tall claims of ‘record’ tree plantation every year to the tune of 2.5 crore and more can only be eyewash? Do you think that every year coming by so much land to plant saplings is impossible and not letting us know of the status of previously planted trees is actually not doing anything in increasing green cover? Do you think the government should focus more on caring for the previously planted trees and ensuring their survival, rather than stay hell-bent on creating records? You may send your views in 200 words at [email protected] Please also attach a colour photo of yourself.