To pay for the air you breathe? Well, Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission Anil Kakodkar believes it is a possibility in the not too distant future.
"The rapidly depleting Earth resources, the impending climate change disaster and such other phenomenon would soon lead to a shift in terms of things that we take for granted as a free gift of nature," he said.
"The day is not far off when they, water, air and so on will get priced," Kakodkar, also Secretary in the Department of Atomic Energy, said in his convocation address to the National Law School of India University, Bangalore.
Under such situations, how do we handle the plight of those who cannot pay and what about other living species who also need these resources, he asked.
Noting that sustainability of energy resources has become a serious constraint due to depleting Earth resources, he said the issue of climate change has added a major new complication.
Kakodkar said the larger part of humanity is thus facing a serious dilemma of meeting unfilled developmental aspirations on the one hand and the threat to their survival on the other.
"India is a part, in fact a significant part, of this larger segment of humanity. We have to resolve this dilemma in the backdrop of pressures from the mighty and powerful who are actually major contributors to this problem," he added.