Hyderabad: Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MA&UD) KT Rama Rao on Friday asked the Centre to bring in a ranking system similar to the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) rankings to create competition among states to reach ‘Net zero’ emissions by 2070 as per India’s commitment to the COP26 conference in 2021.
Addressing the at a National Workshop organised by Telangana State Forest Department in Hyderabad on ‘Effective Implementation & Monitoring of Forestry Activities with Special Emphasis on CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority)’, The minister said that the central government needs to be pragmatic and commonsensical in its approach.
“I say this with a lot of pain. If we are building one flyover, you (Forest department) are only thinking about the two hundred trees that will be either translocated or uprooted. But you also need to do the study on how many cars travel on that road, how long do they wait at the traffic signal and how long these vehicles keep the engine is on and thereby the carbon emissions. We don’t take this into count at all. We operate with blinders because this is what is taught to us in Mussorie and that is it. I think we have to change in sync with time,” he remarked.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told world leaders at the COP26 that India will target a net-zero goal by the year 2070 and aim at increasing its non-fossil fuel energy to 500 GW in its energy mix by 2030.
The minister said that both development and decarbonization targets should go hand in hand and one shouldn’t be sacrificed for the other. “To our friends from other states, UN calls us the tree city and also look at our infrastructure. I challenge you all, to show me another city that has better infrastructure than Hyderabad. So, we have been able to balance both, Why can’t others do it?” he asked.
KTR said that Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s Harita Haram scheme is the reason for such a major change in the state. “10 per cent of our rural local body and urban local body budget, that is a 900 crores per year, is being spent on green and you cannot hear that from anywhere else in India,” he added.
“The Special Chief Secretary has told me that 40.44 per cent of forest beat officers, range officers, section officers are women and the department itself is head by two women. It is because of the diligent efforts of all these officers and we take pride in that,” KTR said.