Urban Naxals had stalled work of Sardar Sarovar Dam for years claiming it is bad for environment: PM Narendra Modi

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday (September 23, 2022) inaugurated the National Conference of Environment Ministers at Ekta Nagar in Narmada district of Gujarat via video conference. While speaking at the event, PM Modi alleged that "urban Naxals and anti-development elements" having political backing had stalled the construction of Sardar Sarovar Dam on Narmada river in Gujarat for many years by running a campaign claiming that it would harm the environment.

"Urban Naxals and anti-development elements having political backing had stalled the construction of the Sardar Sarovar Dam by running a campaign that the project will harm the environment. Huge amount of money was wasted because of this delay. Now, when the dam is complete, you can very well judge how dubious their claims were," the prime minister said.

"These urban Naxals are still active. I urge you to make sure that projects aimed at bringing ease of doing business or ease of life do not get unnecessarily stalled in the name of the environment. We must have a balanced approach to counter the conspiracy of such people," the prime minister added.

'Urban Naxal' term is often used by some segments of the political spectrum to describe sympathisers of the Naxalism cause as well as certain social activists.

It may be noted that the two-day National Conference of Environment Ministers on September 23 and 24 is aimed at creating further synergy among the central and state governments on various issues, such as climate change, tackling plastic waste, wildlife and forest management, among others, the PMO said.

"Taking forward the spirit of cooperative federalism, the conference is being convened to create further synergy amongst the central and state governments in formulating better policies on issues such as elimination of plastic pollution through multi-pronged approach, state action plans to effectively combat climate change with focus on LiFE- Lifestyle for Environment," the PMO said.

It will also focus on increasing the forest cover with special emphasis on restoration of degraded land and wildlife conservation.

The conference will have six thematic sessions on various topics, such as LiFE and combating climate change (updating state action plans on climate change for mitigation of emissions and adaptation to climate impacts).

Other topics will be PARIVESH (single window system for integrated green clearances), forestry management, prevention and control of pollution, wildlife management, plastics and waste management, the statement said.

(With agency inputs)

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