Says development schemes cater to today's needs only

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has underlined the need to promote new technologies for waste disposal. He was inaugurating the World Environment Day events of the Pollution Control Board at Kanakakkunu Palace here on Tuesday.

“Such an occasion is important since it reminds us to cater to tomorrow's needs as well.” He went at length about how, “only the development needs of today are paid attention to.”

“The decisions we make today impact the future. Though there could be inconveniences, we need to think about future generations and take steps that are far-sighted,” he said.

The Chief Minister spoke about how two pressing concerns faced by Kerala today were environment-related — solid waste management and pollution of water bodies. He emphasised the need to adopt new technology, to reduce plastic waste, and to set up more plastic waste management units.

Mr. Chandy said that drying up and pollution of water bodies was a serious cause for concern. Programmes that prioritised the reversal of such processes needed to be taken up.

“The government is looking specifically at Sabarimala. Thorough cleaning of the Pampa and surroundings needs to be focussed on,” he said. At the event, awards were distributed to industrial groups which implemented environment friendly initiatives.

Tourism's impact

At another programme organised by the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) and the Science and Technology Museum here, he said that development of tourism must not impact the environment or the State's cherished cultural values. The government recognised tourism as a priority sector. However, he said, environmental concerns could not be ignored while formulating tourism projects.

Mr. Chandy said the government was exploring different options to address solid waste management problem and water pollution, but there were no easy solutions. “Atmospheric pollution is another challenge. The proposed high-speed rail corridor, Kochi Metro and monorail for Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode are designed to reduce pollution by increasing dependence on public transport, thereby bringing down the number of vehicles on the roads,” he said.

The Chief Minister said the government was committed to strict enforcement of laws to prevent deforestation, reclamation of land, and pollution of water bodies.