Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concerns over the rising air pollution in urban India, especially in big metropolitan cities. Inaugurating the environment meet organised by the Union Environment Ministry in the capital, PM Modi said “We have grown up in those traditions where Nature is worshipped and where conserving nature is very important”.
He also claimed that India is not the biggest polluter in the world and has a vision to control pollution. “Our contribution to level of pollution is one of the lowest in the world” PM Narendra Modi told the delegates.
The meet at Vigyan Bhawan that started on Monday morning will see ministers and officials from different states and the Centre discuss the proposed changes in six environment laws and a direction to simplify processes ensuring the strict compliance of green norms.
Prime Minister launched the National Air Quality Index, which will help in providing information on the quality of air in major cities of the country. The NAQ index will first be used in 10 big cities, including Delhi and Mumbai. Off late, the air pollution level in Delhi has been under immense focus with some independent studies claiming that the air pollution level in the capital has even surpassed that of Beijing. Delhi now stands amongst one of the most polluted city in the world.
Emphasising the need to make young minds aware of giving precedence to environmental issues, PM Modi said “There should be an environment in our schools that encourages nature conservation”.
The rising pollution level giving further rise to the health hazards has put the Environment Ministry under the dock from several conservationists. They allege that crucial environment laws are being compromised with an emphasis laid on the urban expansion and other developmental projects.
The government had constituted a high-level committee headed by TSR Subramaniam to review the environment laws and suggest changes to bring them in line with “current requirements”. The committee’s report is expected to be discussed at the environment conference.
Seeking to fasten efforts on cleaning river Ganga, PM said a cleaner river is important to the people living along its banks. “Issue of Clean Ganga is as much about those living on the banks of the Ganga in the various States”, PM Modi said.
Besides, the latest census report on the population of Tiger will also be presented to the Prime Minister and other delegates. The state and centre representatives are also expected to take up the progress on the use of solar and wind energy and other important issues of pollution management in forest and wildlife areas.