Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu said on Friday that tribunals and other regulators, which were doing a “great job”, should facilitate and not strangulate growth.
“Tribunals are doing a great job but I would like to tell the tribunals and other regulators that regulation should be a facilitation. Regulation should not become a strangulation. That feeling is also there between people,” he said. “But at the same time, every disposal of the issue will help, otherwise what will happen if you stay something for a certain period, you are staying the growth. That has to be understood,” he said at the opening session of the International Conference on Environment , organised by the National Green Tribunal.
Naidu also praised the Swachh Bharat Mission and said there was a need to strike a balance between development and environment. “We have to combine knowledge and wisdom. Let us not wait for the disaster to strike. Every citizen on the earth has a responsibility…. We have to pay attention to our future. We are not doing any favours to others, we are helping ourselves,” he said.
He said that though there was much debate over which should take priority between environment and development, there was no “intrinsic conflict” between the two. “We are now in the present regime of LPG (liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation). But LPG and SDG (sustainable development goals) must go hand in hand,” Naidu said.
He added that the GDP was important but improving human life was also essential as the “quality of life is the ultimate test of all the developments”.
Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said everyone had the right to breathe fresh air and have pure water and the tribunals, courts and governments have “sacrosanct” duty to see that the appropriate standard of environment is maintained. “Nature tells you every moment and warns you every moment that look whatever you are doing, is being watched. Do not destroy nature. The day has come when you have to care for mother nature every day, every hour, every moment.”
Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan, who also spoke at the event, said that India, which is one of the most bio-diverse nations of the world, has been at the forefront in leading and joining initiatives that have been aimed at ensuring environmental sustainability.