Civil society groups urge citizens to evaluate India’s environmental performance before casting vote - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Civil society groups urge citizens to evaluate India’s environmental performance before casting vote

ByVicky Pathare
Apr 17, 2024 10:37 PM IST

The organisations further said that the country is facing a huge water crisis with 70% of our groundwater aquifers having dried up and the rate of recharge being less than 10%

Ahead of the Lok Sabha (LS) elections, more than 70 environmental and civil society organisations on Wednesday urged citizens to evaluate India’s performance with respect to environment and ecology before casting their vote in the 2024 LS polls. They reasoned that it is vital to consider the young generation’s right to clean air and water amid global warming, climate change and pollution.

India is among the countries that are most vulnerable to the impact of global warming and climate change. (REPRESENTATIVE PIC)
India is among the countries that are most vulnerable to the impact of global warming and climate change. (REPRESENTATIVE PIC)

“We must secure a bright future for India’s youth by safeguarding Nature and upholding democratic rights and values. We urge citizens to keep in mind that really good governance enables public participation in policymaking; reduces corruption and skirting of regulations; supports public debate reinforced by a free press; and encourages citizens to push their lawmakers for greater environmental protections. Let us ensure that our vote results in safeguarding Nature, upholding constitutional and democratic rights for all citizens, and a secure future for the youth of India,” read the joint statement issued by these organisations.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

The organisations further said that the country is facing a huge water crisis with 70% of our groundwater aquifers having dried up and the rate of recharge being less than 10%. India has been declared as the third most polluted country in 2023, according to a report released by Swiss air quality monitoring body, IQ Air (the country was ranked the eighth most polluted by IQ Air in 2022). Out of the 50 most polluted cities in the world, 42 cities are now in India, they said.

India is among the countries that are most vulnerable to the impact of global warming and climate change. Many crucial laws protecting India’s environment and natural ecosystems (Forest Conservation Act, Environment Impact Assessment etc.) have been weakened in the last few years despite widespread public opposition, the organisations said.

They called for a change in the definition of development in India. “Development at the cost of our natural resources is not ‘vikas’ as it leads to destruction of our pollution sinks and water security threatening the future of our youth and wildlife. Ensuring protection of ecosystems and community livelihoods in the Himalayas, Aravallis, western and eastern ghats, coastal regions, wetlands, river valleys, central Indian and north-eastern forest regions, and not allowing the corporate exploitation of these natural habitats is development,” they asserted.

Furthermore, the organisations demanded inclusion of community and civil society as central to all local and national development decision making. No diversion of forest and agricultural land must take place without the consent of gram sabhas. Also, several measures for the protection of Nature and the environment should be taken, they said.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, May 18, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On