New Delhi: Environment conservation can go hand in hand with development, and a transparent system will be put in place to ensure timely clearances to projects, President Pranab Mukherjee said Monday.
The government will also work with global communities to fight climate change.
"While putting the country on a high growth path, my government will keep sustainability at the core of our planning process. My government strongly believes that environmental conservation can go hand in hand with development," Mukherjee said while addressing the joint session of both houses of parliament Monday.
He said a time-bound and transparent system for environment clearances will be set up for this.
"To achieve this, environment and forest clearance systems will be made more predictable, transparent and time-bound. Simultaneously, an effective system will be developed for sound appraisal processes and strict compliance of clearance conditions, especially those relating to rehabilitation of displaced communities and regeneration of forests," he said.
The president said cleaner fuels will be promoted to bring down pollution levels in cities.
"The government will earnestly take up mitigation works to meet the challenges posed by climate change and will closely work with the global community in this regard," he said.
As the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been focusing on cleaning the Ganga river, Mukherjee said the government will ensure a clean, pristine Ganga with perennial flow in the river.
"River Ganga is a part of our rich cultural heritage, a symbol of faith and the lifeline for millions. However, Ganga continues to remain polluted with many stretches of the river becoming dry in lean season. My government will take all necessary steps to ensure a perennial, clean and pristine Ganga," Mukherjee said.
The president added that conservation of the Himalayas is also a priority area.
"Conservation of Himalayan ecology will be a priority area for my government. A National Mission on Himalayas will be launched," he said.
Transparent policies on allocation of natural resources will also be a government priority.
"In the recent past, serious concerns have been expressed regarding use of discretionary powers in allocation of our precious natural resources. The government will formulate clear and transparent policies on allocation of critical natural resources such as coal, minerals and spectrum," he said.