Failure to tackle green issues could hurt growth: Ecologists
India is expecting a 7.6% growth rate for fiscal year 2012-13. Its gross domestic product (GDP) was likely to have grown at 6.9% in 2011-12.
Environmental experts feel the government's green initiatives are not at all compatible with the country's aim to log a high growth rate.
"High economic growth is not bad, but it will have its adverse effects on environment. So the government should address key environmental issues," said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).
India's rapid economic growth over the last decade has come with a huge environmental cost. Based on domestic studies, it is estimated economic costs of environmental damage range from 3.5% to 7.5% of the country's total economic output.
Much of the cost in India is caused by air pollution, water contamination and solid wastes, as well as deforestation.
Roychowdhury said the government's "lack of focus" to save the country's forests, water bodies and environment may hamper sustainable, long-term growth of the economy. "Currently there is no blueprint on how the government will tackle key environmental issues."
"Environment is always a back bencher in our country. We are overshadowed by (economic) growth," regrets renowned river expert Kalyan Rudra.