Panchayti Raj Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar’s description of the National Action Plan on Climate Change as a “bureaucratic job” without the involvement of masses was politely rebuffed by Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal, who termed it as a “scientific exercise”.
The differences came to the fore on Monday at the National Policy Dialogue on Adoption to Climate Change organised by the Swaminathan Foundation and Swiss Agency for Development.
“Panchayat Raj institutions are not included in the climate change action plan. This is a major lacuna,” Aiyar said. “You’re not going to generate solar energy from Rashtrapati Bhawan or South Block or have water outlet for the country from outskirts of Delhi.”
Aiyar said the local self-government institutions had a well-established machinery to deliver results, but the bureaucracy was more interested in creating missions to accommodate more bureaucrats.
The missions were required to study the impact of global warming on glaciers, with which no community had a direct connect, Sibal retorted. “These missions are of scientific nature and therefore, it require experts,” he said. Once strategies were in place, masses would be involved, but “we can’t start from bottom”, Sibal said.