Promote green industries, says Suresh Heblikar

Environmentalist sees grave threat from growing auto industry

With development posing a grave threat to nature, the emphasis should be on promoting environment-friendly industries, said Kannada actor and environmentalist Suresh Heblikar.

Participating in a programme organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Indian Green Building Council, here, on Saturday, Heblikar said, “The expansion of automobile industry is leading to depletion of natural resources, as most of the rubber produced in the country is used by it. In the coming years, the automobile industry is set for a stupendous growth and so is the impact on environment. Rubber plantations can be seen even in Uttara Kannada, close to the Western Ghats, besides Kodagu and Sagar in Shivamogga district.”

Citing an example of Bengaluru, Heblikar said, “There are 25 lakh vehicles, with most of the land being utilised for parking them. So, fertility of lands is taking a beating. Similar is the situation in Belagavi villages, where people prefer cars for transport, but opt for open defecation.”

Impact of urbanisationHeblikar listed several factors responsible for such disturbances in society. With bombardment of publicity, people are forced to own houses, cars, refrigerator, mobile phones, etc as inevitable for a living. Technology derived from the West is exploiting the developing countries, while rapid urbanisation is leading to complexity of problems.

Though there is a change in social and economic status, people still fail to respond to others’ woes. People still suffer below poverty line (BPL) and a majority of 70 per cent women rely on forest for firewood and lakes and ponds for drinking water. 

On the other hand, the affluent are damaging environment according to their whims and fancies by releasing more carbon.

Peenya in Bengaluru was once dotted with many lakes, that were destroyed to develop industrial areas. Similar is the fate of Arkavathi Layout that was once a rich irrigation belt. Bidadi, Ramanagar, Magadi on the outskirts of Bengaluru were known for hilly regions that were contributing to the underground water table. Hence, there is a cry for water now.

CII, Mysuru chapter, chairman N Muthukumar, and H E Chandrashekar from JSS Polytechnic College were present. 

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