India can take lead on environment issues: Modi

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New Delhi: Prime minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that India was ready to take the lead in environmental protection but it does not get the required nuclear fuel for producing clean energy.

Inaugurating a two-day conference of state environment and forest ministers at Vigyan Bhavan here, Modi said that India was ready to take lead in environment protection but “people who lecture us on environment and the use of cleaner energy don’t give us nuclear fuel”.

“These are double standards,” he said, adding that India has to take lead in thinking of ways to protect the environment.

“We must think of traditional methods to tackle environmental issues. There can be green solutions in our age-old traditions”, he said.

The prime minister also sought to clear the “wrong impression” of India that it was not serious on environmental issues, saying that the country had a culture in which the environment is equal to the divine.

“We have grown up in those traditions where nature is worshipped and where conserving nature is very important,” he said, adding that we have no right to exploit nature.

“This is not a part of our culture,” he said.

The prime minister also said that India was one of the most sensitive countries about nature. “Per person carbon emission in India is very low.”

Modi urged urban bodies to focus on solid waste management with programmes to generate wealth from it.

“If we make fertilisers and send them to the villages, then good quality, affordable vegetables can come to the cities,” he said.

He said that urban bodies could recycle waste water and send it to farmers, who in turn would make use of it and provide other services like growing organic vegetables, which would make life easier for all.

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