In this session moderated by Senior Editor Archna Shukla and Assistant Editor Anubhuti Vishnoi, Prakash Javadekar, who holds the portfolio of Environment, I&B and Parliamentary Affairs, says the UPA government has left behind “a sad legacy” but instead of indulging in a blame game, he would rather move on and take quick decisions
When we talk of aspirations, we presume aspirations belong to either the rich or the middle class. But now I find a very eloquent expression of aspirations among the poor. Earlier, when the government provided a village power connectivity and also one free bulb per house, it presumed that the villager will be happy with that one bulb. But mow, he wants immediate connection, a fan, another light and then a radio and a TV set. So the load increases. This load is the expression of the aspiration of the poor. We must eradicate poverty. That is the challenge in the Environment ministry. People are expecting us to take decisions which were absent earlier. Take the issue of governors. ‘Why are they not resigning,’ a section of media asked us in 2004. It is the exact opposite of what they are saying now. People want us to avoid delays, to take proactive steps and give innovative solutions. Even the government advertisement will change. We are now crowd-sourcing DAVP (Directorate of Advertising & Visual Publicity) ads. We are not doing away with DAVP’s creative unit; they will moderate and examine. Crowd-sourcing means people will give ideas, new slogans. If they are good, we will accept. Otherwise, we will improvise. Everything has to be fine-tuned, made attractive. I have told Doordarshan that their task is to make DD the first choice of people. I am asking all cable operators to show DD; cable operators don’t show DD channels. This is unacceptable. The Prime Minister is hearing each ministry — their visions, programmes, action plans.
Archna Shukla : The government isn’t reaching out to the media.
There are experienced leaders in the ministries. There are also many who are new; they are learning. Speaking to the media without complete knowledge is dangerous. We will definitely talk to the media.
Anubhuti vishnoi: During the UPA’s term, your party had time and again pointed out to the lack of decision-making in the Environment ministry.
It’s a sad legacy, but we have decided not to indulge in a blame game, and move ahead. As I was in the standing committee pertaining to defence, I have first-hand experience of what was pending regarding defence projects. For example, Karwar, the new Navy hub, is of strategic importance. The residential township there will accommodate 30,000 people. The project was held up for nearly three years. We cleared it within three minutes after discussions, because we believe this is what people want. Another example is the China border. Chinese roads are wonderful, their townships are coming up fast. But our roads are in very bad shape due continued…