Tribune News Service
Dehradun, March 10
Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, today said the all-weather road project in Uttarakhand would not impact environment. He asserted that each and every decision linked to the project had been taken in totality considering both developmental and environment concerns and ensured that none among the two would be weakened.
Vardhan was here today to inaugurate UNESCO Category 2 Center for World Natural Heritage Management and Training for Asia and the Pacific Region at Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. Talking to The Tribune, Vardhan said environment and public welfare linked issues were sensitive and had to be taken holistically.
“Any project that has both development and environment concerns is approved by marathon meetings taking its each and every aspect during the deliberations. It is not that the decision are taken in one go but there is whole lot of process,” he said adding that it was equally true in case of all-weather roads project in Uttarakhand. He said to follow there was equally strong monitoring mechanism for implementation.
Referring to the National Green Tribunal (NGT), he said even in cases of National Green Tribunal observations, the ministry abides and tells the concerned state to do needful but also goes back to the Tribunal if it finds observation is over reactive. “At times we have to tell the NGT that we don’t agree with you we have public concerns in mind and we wish to come back to you,” he added.
He also took opportunity to assert that India was among few countries in the world where forest cover was growing. “Globally in most of the countries, forest cover is reducing but we in India have at least managed to maintain and rather increase the forest cover,” Vardhan said. India today stands in number eight position in the world in terms of forest cover, he said.
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