The former judge of the Supreme Court R.V. Raveendran has said that unbridled mining in Bellary that ruined the ecology, simultaneously damaging State’s economy and the interests of the Indian steel industry, is a classical example of “alleged development” that is completely unsustainable.
Speaking at the ninth annual day celebrations of the Centre for Sustainable Development here on Thursday, he contrasted the times when the government-owned National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) was the only company which primarily fed the Indian industry.
The boom in mining, which resulted in raking in money from 100-odd private companies while devastating the district, carted away precious minerals to foreign countries that could have sustained the local steel industry for a long time to come if used judiciously, he said.
Citing another example of unsustainable development, he said that the Union government at one point of time had posted 50 director-level officers to the cluster of islands with a population of around 60,000 people, which had resulted in a boom in the number of cars and vehicles in the islands.
These two examples illustrate how spending money or generating money is not necessarily development, he said.
Speaking earlier, K. Kasturirangan, noted space scientist and Member, Planning Commission, said that the 12th Plan had its focus on sustainable and inclusive growth.
He spoke of how India, that has 2.4 per cent of the total land mass of the world sustaining one-sixth of the world’s population, faced huge challenges. There was pressure on water, forest, energy and biodiversity, which now have to well managed, he said.
The government was willing to double the investment in the 12th Plan on research and development related to clean and green technology, he said. “Earth observing systems and geo-spatial technology can allow inter-disciplinary approach in natural resource management,” he said.