Green technology should be used to spur growth: PM

By Fakir Balaji, IANS

Visakhapatnam : Science and technology should be harnessed to convert urban waste into wealth, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Thursday while advocating the use of affordable eco-friendly technologies to sustain the growth momentum.

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“Our scientists and economic policy makers have to strike a balance between the pursuit of high income growth and protection of natural resources.

“The challenge has to be met by blending modern science and technology with our traditional knowledge base,” Singh told delegates at the 95th Indian Science Congress (ISC) here.

Advocating the application of green technologies in five key areas of growth on a war footing, Singh said the labour-intensive farm sector needed new technologies to raise yields and, at the same time, prevent degradation of scarce land and water resources. Productivity of small and marginal farmers would have to be increased for sustenance.

“Similarly, we need appropriate economic policies and affordable technologies to conserve scarce water resources. As part of the national water mission, the government is committed to invest in water-saving technologies and the scientific management of its resources,” the prime minister said in his inaugural address.

For energy conservation and development of renewable energy sources, Singh said solar energy would have to be tapped optimally for extensive use by scientific, technological and business communities.

Expressing concern over the poor utilisation of natural resources by the manufacturing sector, Singh said sustainable development required efficient use of these resources by the industry with science-based solutions that were commercially viable.

“The demand for private transportation is shooting up because of the lack of adequate public transport. We need eco-friendly public transport solutions that are affordable by all. I regret to note that many of our roads in urban areas provide no space for pedestrians or bicycle riders. This must change forthwith,” Singh said in anguish.

Similarly, he expressed dismay over modern building technologies, which he said were ill-suited and unsustainable. Unlike in the case of traditional building technologies, which were environment-friendly, modern structures were detrimental to conserving energy and ecology.

“We need locally relevant all-weather building technologies and construction methodologies to reduce the growing dependence on air-conditioning,” he added.