New Delhi, July 6 (IANS) New Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave, a known environmentalist, took charge of the ministry on Wednesday that also happens to be his birthday. Dave said he would continue with “his hobby” but within the constitutional framework.
“Earlier, my environmental work was a hobby, now I would try to do the same in the framework of the Constitution,” Dave, who has worked on conservation of Narmada in his home state Madhya Pradesh, said on being asked about his plans for river rejuvenation.
Taking charge in the presence of his predecessor and now the Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister, Prakash Javadekar, Dave praised him and echoed his words that development and ecological conservation go hand in hand.
“Development and environment go together; they are not against each other,” Dave said.
His predecessor Javadekar, who was often criticised for diluting green norms for pro-industry policies, too advocated the drafting of environment policies while keeping development in mind.
“Projects initiated by Prakash Javadekar will go on,” Dave said.
Asked about his strategy, the river conservationist replied, “It will take me one week of time to understand the priorities and challenges of the department. Then I will set priorities about which direction we shall move.”
Asked about the water projects and the river linking project over which the Environment Ministry had an ideological conflict with the Water Resource Ministry, especially in the case of the Ken-Betwa river link project, he replied, “Every river must flow.”
A Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Pracharak, a trained pilot and three-time Rajya Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh, Dave was also a member of the Parliamentary forum on global warming and climate change.
Dave was given Independent charge of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in a major expansion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet on Tuesday.
Dave started working right away. He held a meeting with senior officers to see the functioning of departments and discussed the current challenges being faced by his ministry.