Tribune News Service
Solan, August 12
Former Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Shanta Kumar Monday said development planning had been rendered ineffective owing to increasing population in the country and it had become imperative to enact a law to control the same.
He was delivering the keynote address during a seminar on increasing population and dwindling resources jointly organised by the Health and Family Welfare Department and the Population Control Jan Jagran Manch.
The BJP leader said the rising population had become the biggest challenge for the nation today. The population which stood at 34 crore at the time of Independence had already touched 141 crore — registering an increase of 50,000 every day. This was the root cause of several problems such as poverty, declining resources, pollution, environmental issues and reducing arable land.
He said the nation had been placed at the 103rd position globally in the poverty index while a few years ago it was on the 97th position.
Shanta Kumar said although the nation was making speedier progress on the economic front under the strong leadership at the national level, the growing population was posing problems in various areas.
In India, per person income was Rs 2,000, while in the United States, it was $55,000. More than 20,000 crore people were surviving at an income of mere Rs 5,000 per month. Nearly 70 per cent water was not drinkable and the nation was ranked at the 120th position among 122 nations in this key sector, he said.
Lauding the Centre for scrapping Article 370, the BJP leader said he hoped that a similar positive atmosphere would be created in the nation for controlling the population.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Vipin Parmar said encouraging steps were being taken in the state and at the Centre to control the population.
He said an awareness was being generated in the masses about gender equality and successful results from Central programmes such as Beti Bachao, Beti Padao were being observed.
Nearly 10 families who have opted for a single child were honoured.
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