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Don't ignore rahab: PM

Manmohan asked India Inc. to pay closer attention to the environmental impact of development.

india Updated: Apr 18, 2006 16:47 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday asked India Inc. to pay closer attention to the environmental impact of development together with the issue of human rehabilitation to avoid confrontation.

Taking a cue from the Supreme Court's verdict on Monday on the Narmada dam project that empowers the prime minister to settle the issue, Manmohan Singh said there was an urgent need to evolve credible mechanisms to avoid confrontations.

"The time has come to squarely address the issue of development, displacement and environment," he told the inaugural session of the two-day annual national convention of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

"Expanding the pie through rapid economic development is essential if we have to meet the challenge of eliminating chronic poverty, ignorance and disease," the prime minister said while asking industry to look at these issues.

"At the same time, we are frequently faced with situations where developmental activities displace people from traditional habitat, vocations and lifestyles, and where industrial growth can have adverse environmental implications."

The prime minister said it was imperative that development is not perceived as a threat to people's lives and that it takes place in a cost-effective, environment friendly manner and benefits all stakeholders without hardship.

"We need to evolve credible mechanisms whereby these issues do not degenerate into confrontations between sections of our society," Manmohan Singh said.

"This is the only path to the prosperous future we dream of. And our government is committed to addressing these issues in the near future."