Technology can help balance environment protection and development: Supriyo
Business Standard , Feb 06, 2020
Union Minister of State for Environment Babul Supriyo said on Thursday that climate change is a major global challenge and technology can be used to strike a balance between environment protection and development.
Speaking at the 'National Conference on Recent Trends in Environment Pollution and Disaster Risk Reduction', organised by FICCI and Indian Institute of Technology, Dhanbad, Supriyo said, "Climate change is one of the biggest global challenges that we are facing."
Highlighting the importance of using modern technologies to check environment degradation during developmental activities, the minister cited the example of coal mining where large tracts of land is dug to extract coal, but more than half of the reserves are left untapped as it requires deeper digging.
"If one can use today's technology to approach coal horizontally instead of vertically, the top layer of the earth along with trees can be saved," he said while also citing the example of the Thames river in London and how it was cleaned saying same technology should be used to clean river Ganga.
Appreciating India's efforts in protecting the environment, he said that the United Nations Environment Programme in its Emissions Gap Report in 2016 has recognised India as one of the countries on track to achieve its voluntary goal.
"In order to bring a true change in environment, you should take inspiration from the fact that India is one of the eight to nine countries in the world where greenery has gone up, forest cover has gone up by about 1.2 per cent," he said.
Rajiv Shekhar, Director, IIT (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad, spoke about bringing out a sustainable mining plan and its monitoring which can help in saving the environment.
"When we are talking about environment and development, we have to take the whole life cycle - coal to power, coal to steel. We are developing a template for a sustainable mining plan which can be monitored and this monitoring part is extremely important.
"We will provide you a roadmap so that we can walk the delicate balance between environment and economic development," he said.
Speaking about disaster risks and environment pollution, GVV Sarma, Member Secretary, National Disaster Management Authority, urged industries to come up with simple technological solutions during natural disasters.
"During natural disasters, like cyclones, both power lines and mobile towers get disrupted, and even when the mobile towers become functional there is no way to charge the mobiles. Here, he urged the industry come up with simple solutions," he said.
Major General Manoj Kumar Bindal, Executive Director, National Institute of Disaster Management, spoke about climate change, degradation or environmental pollution as global phenomenon.
"Climate change, degradation or environmental pollution in one geographical region is not restricted to that region. It is global and it is likely to affect us wherever we are," he said.
An MoU was signed between FICCI and IIT(ISM), Dhanbad, during the event. The two-day national conference will hold several technical sessions.