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Will bring out white paper on preserving environment: Prakash Javadekar

Javadekar said that his government’s motto is ‘development and environment conservation hand-in-hand’.

Prakash Javadekar , Prakash Javadekar in pune, biodiversity park, pune biodiversity park , pune news Prakash Javadekar

Union Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar said on Sunday that his ministry-which is under fire from the Opposition for giving blanket clearances to projects-would soon bring out a white paper to show how the present government has done a better job in preserving the environment compared to the erstwhile UPA government.

Javadekar said that his government’s motto is ‘development and environment conservation hand-in-hand’. He emphasised that the ministry hasn’t compromised on the environment while clearing the projects.

“There has to be a balance between the two. We want to preserve the environment but we also need development. The projects we gave clearance to are all in public interest. Those critisising the grant of clearances should show one project which won’t do good to the public and the country,” Javadekar said while addressing a press conference at Van Bhavan in Pune.

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The minister released a list of 24 projects in the state which were pending for want of environmental clearance that were cleared by his ministry. The projects include the Shivaji statue in Arabian Sea and cleaning the Mula-Mutha river-beds in Pune.

“What needs to be asked is why weren’t all these projects not cleared for so much time. Why were they pending?,” Javadekar asked, adding that his government has streamlined the clearance process and brought down the average time from 600 days to 90 days.

Responding to criticism by his predecessor Jairam Ramesh that instead of protecting the environment, the minister is working to destroy it, Javadekar said, “We have done much better than the UPA in conserving and strengthening the environment. Very soon, we will come out with a white paper to show how we have done a better job in conservation than the UPA government.”

“In fact, Jairam Ramesh should tell us why his government failed to spend crores of rupees collected from private firms for afforestration which were lying unused in banks for over 10 years. When I took over, I took a special interest and released these funds which would be spent in planting new forests,” Javadekar further said.

First published on: 14-03-2016 at 12:19:05 am
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