Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: Though huge allocation of funds has been made by the government to achieve targets set under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), they are not being properly utilised and equitable development still seems a distant dream, said Srikanta K. Panigrahi, Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Strategic Knowledge Mission on Climate Change.

“In much of South Asia, environmental indices have actually deteriorated instead of improving. Carbon emissions have doubled in the region between 1995 and 2005. Indices such as child malnutrition remain alarmingly high.”

He was speaking at the inaugural session of an international conference on MDGs at RMK Engineering College here on Sunday.

“We are now at the mid-point between the adoption of MDGs and the 2015 target date. So far, our collective record has not been great. Even , 1.1 billion people do not have access to clean drinking water and 30,000 children die every day of preventable causes. One in four children born today will not reach the age of five,” said Dr. Panigrahi.

According to him, rural areas of developing countries hold the key to attainment of the goals. “The promotion of rural development in a sustainable manner increases employment opportunities, reduces regional income disparities, stems rural-urban migration and ultimately reduces poverty at its very source. Spatially balanced development is a desirable objective for every society.”