Development must be regulated and not at the expense of the environment, says Justice Shalekar

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He warned that if the earth’s temperature rose without an effort to contain it, it would trigger the melting of glaciers around the world, causing sea levels to rise and flooding coastal areas.

Representative image. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Bhubaneshwar: Development must be regulated and must not come at the expense of the environment, said Justice B Amit Shalekar, Judicial Member of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), Kolkata.

He warned that if the Earth’s temperature rose without an effort to contain it, it would trigger the melting of glaciers around the world, causing sea levels to rise and flooding coastal areas, including cities like Mumbai and Kolkata. .

Justice Shalekar said this during a speech during the Odisha Environment Congress-2022 held at Siksha O’ Anusandhan University (SOA) here on Saturday in association with NGT and Odisha State Legal Services Authority.

Noting that development was taking place at the expense of the environment, he said NGT had led actions against the construction of resorts in violation of the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ).

“Such construction was taking place directly on the beach although CRZ rules do not allow any activity within 500 meters of the high tide line. which leads to the destruction of the beach itself,” Judge Shalekar said.

You can’t mess with the environment, he told the large number of students at the event, adding “be alive, alert and aware of the environmental degradation happening around us” .

Expressing his dismay at the widespread use of plastic and polythene, Justice Shalekar said he was of the view that the use of these substances, which do not degrade for 400 years and do not destroy soil, should be completely stopped.

“The ill effects of modernism have hit us hard because the use of earthen kullads has been completely forgotten,” he said, saying there was a need to return to the days when groceries were delivered in paper bags.

“If we go back to the earthen kullads, it will not only create jobs, but also help us get back to nature,” Justice Shalekar said, adding that “when we hurt nature, it will hit us back.”

Saibal Dasgupta, Expert Member, National Green Tribunal, Kolkata, said that 52.90 million tons of solid waste was generated annually in the country, of which plastic waste alone accounted for 5.6 million tons. “About 78% of this waste was collected of which only 25% was treated,” he said.

Dasgupta said India was among the ten countries that had high forest cover accounting for 24.6% of the total landmass with dense forest area spread over 99,779 km2.

Odisha’s forest cover, he said, has increased by 537 km2, which is encouraging.

Professor Pradipta Kumar Nanda, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of SOA, chaired the program.

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