Do political parties think of environment?
According to statistical data, 25 lakh people died due to environmental pollution in India. This is around the population of an entire district in Kerala.
The Lansite report, which takes account of losses created by climate change, says India faced losses to the tune of 79.5 billion dollars in the last 20 years till 2017. That is three times the amount earmarked for health, education and social security.
While floods and blazing summer heat take our seasonal experiences to the extreme, the society realises that climate change is not a small matter.
In this context, how much importance does political parties give to environmental issue in their election manifesto is significant.
There are 24 policies connected to environment and disaster management, in the Congress manifesto that the party aims to fulfil.
The Congress is planning to constitute a specialised division - Environment Protection Authority (EPA). In its manifesto, the party aims to update the Disaster Management Act of 2005, concentrate on air purification and increase the amount of protected forest area.
The BJP manifesto, Sankalp Patra, aims to implement four policies. It has plans for air purification projects for 102 cities, protection of flora and fauna of Himalaya.
The CPM manifesto has eight policies including protection of environment and safeguarding water sources. Use of alternate energy sources instead of fossil fuels and special packages for states to tackle natural disasters are also part of the party manifesto.
While announcing huge development projects based on the possibilities of free market and capital investment, ensuring environmental friendliness while implementing these projects would be a challenge for the politicos.