Modi: Urban Naxals hindering India’s development: PM Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said ‘urban Naxals’ were hindering the development of India by taking crores of rupees from different global organizations and foundations. Inaugurating the National Conference of Environment Ministers in Ekta Nagar (Kevadia), Gujarat, through video conferencing on Friday, Modi spoke of the complications in getting environmental clearances and said the delay in getting these clearances was hindering the development of modern.

Citing the example of the Sardar Sarovar Dam initiated in 1961 by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, he said it took decades to complete its construction due to the conspiracies carried out in the name of environment. Because of the “urban naxals” and the “conspiracies of such people”, the World Bank had refused to give a loan to increase the dam’s height, he said.

“It took some time to thwart these conspiracies, but the people of Gujarat came out victorious. The dam was being described as a threat to the environment. Today, the same dam has become synonymous with protecting the environment,” Modi said. “Everyone must stay alert against such groups of urban naxals in their respective states,” he said.

Pointing out that more than 6,000 proposals for environmental clearance and 6,500 applications for forest clearance were lying with the states, Modi said “efforts should be made to clear the proposals soon, if found proper. Due to this backlog, projects worth crores of rupees will be stuck.”

He stressed on the need to bring about a change in the work environment so that the backlog comes down and clearances are expedited. He added that in giving environmental clearance, care needs to be taken of the rules and priority given to the development of the people of that area.

“It is a win-win situation for the economy and ecology,” he said. “We need to see that by raising the issue of environment unnecessarily, no obstacles are allowed to be created in the quest of Ease of Living and Ease of Doing Business. The faster environmental clearance is available, the faster development will take place,” he added.

Pointing out the importance of the place where the conference is being held — Ekta Nagar — Modi said the holistic development of Ekta Nagar is an example of an environmental pilgrimage when it comes to forests, water conservation, tourism and the tribal population.

“You will find a lot to learn, see and do in Ekta Nagar, which is around the tallest statue of Sardar Patel. Sardar Sarovar Dam, which helps crores of people of Gujarat, is present here,” Modi said.

“Such a huge statue of Sardar Saheb inspires us to stick to the pledge of unity.” Modi maintained that solutions to issues like the simultaneous development of ecology and economy, strengthening of the environment and creation of new employment opportunities, bio-diversity being a medium to increase eco-tourism, and how the wealth of the forest goes up with the wealth of tribal population can be witnessed here.

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