Modi’s war on environment
April 24, 2019
In September 2018, The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) awarded Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the UN's highest environmental honour — “Champions of the Earth” award. But is PM Modi really a champion of the environment?
According to a report in Down To Earth, the Prime Minister's office has "diluted laws without public consultation, undermined institutions and tried everything in their power to make it easier for corporates to exploit natural resources ranging from forests, wildlife, coasts and made the air pollution and waste scenario worse." The BJP's guide for environmental management became clear, as, during the 2014 campaign, the emphasis was given to "industry" instead of "Flora, Fauna and Environment"
The Centre for Science and Environment drew up a catalogue of Modi’s policies which revealed how the attack on the environment began from day one. In its first year of governance itself, “a list of 60 urgent action points submitted by the Confederation of Indian Industry, meant to remove hurdles of environment clearances for the industry.”
Since then, the “Modi government has been on a "dilution spree" of laws pertaining to India’s forests, coasts, wildlife, air and waste” has continued. This includes:
- the easier awarding of wildlife clearances for industrial projects
- a new draft National Forest Policy that has been criticised for envisaging a push for forest-based industries
- new coastal regulation zone (CRZ) rules that dilute coastal protection
It also said that India's Rankings in the Environmental Performance Index 2018 was considerably down from 141 in 2016, to 177 in 2018.
Even the Turtle Wildlife Sanctuary on the Ganges at Varanasi, the country's only turtle sanctuary was denotified on questionable grounds. Even in 2019, the BJP's manifesto revealed no intentions of reforming from their ongoing onslaughts. The Print explained how the environment was the most under-reported disaster of the Narendra Modi government.
Ek baar phir, Modi Sarkaar, you still ask?
Image Courtesy Academics Against Modi.
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