Politicians skip environmental issues in their list of priorities : The Tribune India

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Politicians skip environmental issues in their list of priorities

Politicians skip environmental issues in their list of priorities


Tribune News Service

Avneet Kaur

Jalandhar, May 20

As Lok Sabha candidates brave the sweltering heat to win over voters, promising world class amenities and rapid development, one critical issue remains glaringly overlooked amidst these lofty pledges.

Key issues missing in manifestos

Despite the release of political manifestos, which promise employment, free ration, electricity, improvement in law and order, bringing more industries etc, none addresses environmental concerns. Key issues such as air and water pollution, garbage management and enforcement of single-use plastic bags are conspicuously absent.

Environmental activists in the city express frustration, noting that while candidates engage in publicity stunts—attending bhangra classes, visiting gyms, chatting by the roadside or playing cards to appear as ordinary citizens—they fail to address the severe environmental crises caused by climate change that is affecting daily life.

“Candidates are more focused on their Instagram presence than on real issues,” lamented an activist. “If they truly cared about their constituents, they’d prioritise environmental initiatives. Harsh winters and scorching summers are becoming the norm, leading to disruptions in daily life and increasing the risk of pandemics like Covid-19,” he added.

Activists argue for more meaningful engagements. “Imagine if instead of making social media reels, candidates organised tree planting drives or planted saplings during their village visits. This would not only make their campaigns impactful but also demonstrate a real commitment to tackling climate change,” suggested an activist.

Despite the release of political manifestos, which promise employment, free ration, electricity, improvement in law and order, bringing more industries etc, none addresses environmental concerns. Key issues such as air and water pollution, garbage management and enforcement of single-use plastic bags are conspicuously absent.

“Considering the global impact of climate change, any responsible government must prioritise a comprehensive environmental strategy,” said Prof MP Singh, a city-based social activist. He said mere promises won’t suffice. “We need actionable plans for effective waste management, stringent measures against polluting industries, and policies to control vehicular pollution. Initiatives like limiting households to one vehicle could make a significant difference,” he added.

Another environmental activist Baldev Singh from Baba Deep Singh Sewa Mission warned that without urgent action, the most critical battles of the future would be over essential resources like water and clean air, not just free rations or electricity. “The time for half-measures is over. We need bold, decisive action to secure our environment for future generations,” he said.

The city’s environmentalists are pushing for a paradigm shift in political campaigning, urging candidates to move beyond superficial engagements and address the real, pressing issues. They say it’s time for political leaders to rise to the challenge and prioritise the planet’s future over short-term gains.

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