New Delhi: With the NDA Government planning to establish 100 Smart Cities throughout the country, noted environmentalist R K Pachauri Wednesday underscored the necessity for these upcoming cities to be environmentally responsible.
Terming it as an `unique opportunity`, he stressed that Smart Cities should become the benchmark.
"I would hope that these cities are environmentally responsible. I would say it is a unique opportunity. If 100 cities in India can really become a sort of a benchmark of environmentally responsible habitat development, then I think this would be a powerful message for others also," Pachauri told reporters.
He said that his institute (The Energy and Resources Institute) is scheduled to hold an interaction with Ministry of Urban Development officials in this regard.
"On the 13th of this month, there would be an interactive session with the officials of Ministry of Urban Development. I get the sense that they are moving in the right direction," he said.
Asked about the issues that were likely to be deliberated in the meeting, Pachauri said they were making preparations for the meeting. We would be discussing about environmental aspects of the upcoming Smart Cities, he added.
Queried about the clearances for environmentally sensitive projects, the Nobel Laureate said that both the Environment Minister and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi were very sensitive about environmental issues.
"They (Minister and Prime Minister) are very sensitive to environmental issues. More than three months ago, our Prime Minister before he was elected, he gave a speech on economic policy. He said in 20th century, it was IT, which made a difference. In the 21st century it is Bio-
Technology and Environmental Technology. If the Prime Minister believes that these are the two areas of technological development that are going to make a difference, I would say that`s a good."