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Sustainable Development Goes Hand In Hand With Environmental Sensitivity

A prominent member of the National Green Tribunal expresses concern over the pollution of Yamuna caused by household and industrial waste

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People and businesses in India indulge in a number of activities that damage the environment, according to D.K. Aggarwal, a prominent member of the National Green Tribunal.

In his address at the BW Smart Cities Conclave and Awards 2016, he expressed his views on the environmental sustainability of the Smart Cities concept and spelt out an integrated approach in dealing with environmental concerns.

Regarding the cleaning of Yamuna, one of the key environmental problems faced by Delhi, he highlighted various points.

"The flow in Yamuna in the Delhi stretch remains negligible during non-monsoon seasons. Practically, we are talking of cleaning Yamuna which has become filled, carrying sewage from Delhi and adjoining areas," he said.

About the discharge of domestic and industrial effluents, he said: "A lot has been talked about the smart cities concept of treating sewage water. It is not only the sewage which is supposed to be treated in the sewage treatment plant but also the industrial effluents. Other than domestic and industrial effluents, various hospitals, nursing houses are also discharging waste into domestic sewers, which is also hindering environmental health."

Religious practices in the country are also causing severe environmental damage.

He said: "Traditional religious practices have been making people dump their religious offerings into the Yamuna and when it comes to the question of ownership and responsibility, everybody either passes the buck or refuses to acknowledge any responsibility related to it."

On another important consideration relating to floodplain mapping, he said, "There has been a huge number of slums in floodplains of Delhi and so far no demarcation of flood plains has been done yet despite directions being given by central water commission way back in 1979."

Aggarwal also expressed his concern on the pace of construction activities being undertaken in such floodplains.

On overlapping laws and agencies, he said, "There has been multiplicity of agencies which control the laws and regulations and various agencies that are responsible for implementing the same."

He also spoke about the role of communication technology in bringing out the best solutions possible.

He said, "Whatever be the tried and tested models from various areas, if we come out with improper input, then that would lead to wrong solutions. So, change in approach is needed to integrate environmental concerns into smart cities concept."

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Kanika Sachdeva

Kanika Sachdeva is a student of journalism

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