CM Pinarayi Vijayan slams green fundamentalism'

Environmental issues to be taken less emotionally and should not hinder development'.

Thiruvananthapuram: After triggering an environment- development debate right after taking over, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that attempts to misuse the environment card should be prevented. “Blind, unscientific and extreme environmental fundamentalism should be reined in,” the Chief Minister said in a blog post on World Environment Day on Sunday. In response, CPI’s Binoy Viswam said that the term environmental fundamentalism was inappropriate and added that it must have been taken from the dictionary of those attempting to plunder the ecology.

The Chief Minister, however, felt that environmental issues should be dealt with less emotionally and more in a pragmatic maner. “Usually, environmental issues are raised to sound the death-knell of development,” he said while officially inaugurating World Envinronment Day celebrations in the state on Sunday. The government's stand is that development and environment protection should go hand in hand.

Elaborating on his philosophy, Mr Vijayan said: “What is needed is an environment-friendly development process pivoted around decentralisation.” He said that resources in each area should be identified, and nourished. Controlled consumption should be encouraged, he said.

For those who had criticized Mr Vijayan for his cold approach towards environmental struggles like the one that was waged in Plachimada against the Cocoa-Cola plant, his views on polluting industrial units could be unsettling. “If industrial units are found to be polluting, the solution is not to shut it down,” the Chief Minister declared. “Instead, the unit should be sustained by installing scientific pollution control systems.”

Nonetheless, he said safe drinking water and air were becoming scarce. “Urgent interventions are required. But, the state also needs infrastructure development to keep up with the times,” he said.

The Chief Minister said that more research mechanisms were required to handle environmental issues. “Those well-versed in the field should offer their studied opinion on issues. A lasting solution can be found when interventions are made after studying expert opinion and popular sentiments,” the Chief Minister said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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