Source: Deccan Chronicle, June 19, 2012
Concerned official circles in Madhya Pradesh are now in the action mode and have started defining the strategy to “leave behind the grim legacy of Union Carbide gas disaster of 1984 and carve out a future and build Bhopal as a global environment city” as emphasised by Prime Minister’s advisor Sam Pitroda during his visit to the state capital earlier this month.
Mr Pitroda, who has agreed to be a mentor for the state government for achieving this objective, has also told the state government that the goal of developing Bhopal as an “environment-friendly global city” should be achieved within five years.
Before announcing this target, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stating: “We aim to reposition Bhopal as a global model of best environmental practices, and a symbol of 21st century environmental consciousness” When contacted, an official source here pointed out said that the idea is to transform the image and perception of the city by integrating the environmental concerns in various planning processes. The strategy is to go for “branding” of Bhopal by mapping ecological foot-prints and by addressing in a focused manner different environmental issues.
Asked to spell out priorities, the official source said bench marks would be created and special stress would be laid on management of land and water resources, transportation, solid waste, drainage and sewage. There will also be concerted efforts backed with research and development to ensure energy efficiency across all sectors of activity. The immediate priority, he said, is to detoxify the abandoned Union Carbide factory and its surrounding areas, ensure round-the-clock water supply to the citizens, develop satellite towns with proper residential and industrial area demarcation, make the city slum free, go for energy efficient housing and construction.