Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari has said that becoming self-reliant in energy is economic nationalism. He said Bharat will soon become an energy exporting country. “Ending energy import and pollution is economic nationalism,” he asserted.
Speaking at Panchajanya-Organiser Environment conclave recently, Shri Gadkari said Green Hydrogen is the fuel of the future and if the environment has to be protected then we should shift towards clean fuel. Shri Gadkari said there is nothing called garbage. By using technology, the garbage can converted to wealth, he added.
The Union Minister said sound pollution due to blowing of horns is a major issue and his ministry is devising methods to change the ear-piercing sound of the horns to make it more musical. “Soon you will have horns sounding like tabla, flute and violin,” he said.
Speaking at the conclave, senior RSS pracharak and national convenor of Paryavaran Sanrakshan Gatividhi Shri Gopal Arya said to protect the environment the first thing we must do is to change our lifestyle. Belting out statistics, he said in Bharat, every minute 10 lakh plastic bottles are manufactured. “Instead of opposition we must look for alternatives. Chemicals form part of all things we use in our lives. About 100,000 metric tonnes of chemicals are being used in our country daily. “We need to take this into account. Time has come for us to look for alternatives,” he added.
Uttarakhand-based environment activist Shri Sachidanand Bharti, farm activist Shri Umendra Dutt, social entrepreneur Shri Imtiyaz Ali, NHAI, Shri Rajendra Singh, Shri Rajneesh Sharma and Shri Sameer were conferred Paryavaran Yodha awards
According to Shri Gopal Arya, to generate one unit of electricity, 875 gram coal is used. Coal formation takes one lakh years. We need to every unit of electricity. The solution to global environment issue is revolves around man. We need to change our perception on development. Does our development strategies think about saving our world? We have to ponder over this, too, he added.
The Minister for Environment of Goa, Shri Vishwajit Rane said ever since he took over, there has been an attempt to make Goa known for ‘sand and sun’ to eco-tourism destination. Goa is endowed with forest cover in abundance. “Our focus is to protect the forest cover and expand it,” the minister said.
Dr Shankar Prasad Sharma, Nepal High Commissioner to Bharat, said that according to the World Bank if Nepal gives 20,000 megawatt electricity, Bharat can prevent 2.3 metric tonne carbon emission. He said Nepal’s topography is very distinct: on one side it is plains and on the other it is long mountain ranges. About 41 per cent of its area is covered with forests and the effort is to make it 45 per cent. Although Nepal’s carbon emission is low, it is bearing the brunt of carbon emissions by developed countries. The melting of Himalayan glaciers is an impact of this rising global temperatures.
Prominent environment activists were awarded at the event. Uttarakhand-based environment activist Shri Sachidanand Bharti, farm activist Shri Umendra Dutt, social entrepreneur Shri Imtiyaz Ali, NHAI, Shri Rajendra Singh, Shri Rajneesh Sharma and Shri Sameer were conferred Paryavaran Yodha awards.
Later, talking about his work, Shri Sachidanand said he considered the work for environment is nothing short of ascetic work and those who aspire to lead such activities should have spotless character. He said the people around him lived off forests. They depended forest for several things. When the forest in his area thinned, he along with local people started planting trees. In between trees, he started making small pits—chaal khaal, the defunct local tradition for saving water. Water started getting collected in these pits. Slowly the water table around the area started rising. He encouraged the people to plant trees which are most suited for the locality.
‘For me, the environment work is not a short-term project. It is a life-long spiritual mission. So I don’t need this much money and what will I do with so much money’ — Sachidanand Bharti, Uttarakhand-based environment activist
An area which used to be parched became water surplus. When reports about this appeared in newspapers, a team of World Bank team visited and promised to give Rs 1,000 crore. “When we rejected the offer with thanks, it became a big piece of news. At that time Swadeshi movement had been going on. RSS Sarsanghchalak Sudarshan ji also got wind of the news. He expressed the desire to visit the place,” Shri Sachidanand Bharti said.
According to Shri Bharati, Sudarshanji’s visit was a memorable event. A road to his place which was stuck for the last 27 years got built in just 14 days, thanks to Sudarshanji’s visit. The BJP government fast-tracked the work and got it done. “The local people thought, Sudarshanji was someone more powerful than US President Bill Clinton because he got the work on the stuck road completed,” he said.
Shri Sachidanand Bharti’s work has revived the forest in 800 hectares of land. On his rejection of the World Bank fund, he said most agencies give fund for a particular project. “Once the project is over, the funding also ceases. For me, the environment work is not a short-term project. It is a life-long spiritual mission. So I don’t need this much money and what will I do with so much money,” he asked.