CII meet emphasises importance of sustainable development


New Delhi : Well-planned investment is necessary to ensure sustainable development and make current economic practices more socially responsible and environment-friendly, a business convention held here concluded Monday.

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The two-day convention on “Large Infrastructure Projects: Sustainable Development and the Law-Emerging Issues and Concerns”, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development, discussed the range of issues from investment to sustainable development.

Most of the speakers agreed that sustainable development should be given top priority while undertaking mega projects.

Lok Sabha member Suresh Prabhu, who was present at the programme, said: “We must look at sustainable issues before embarking on any mega projects, $90 billion worth of which are to be implemented under the 11th Five Year Plan.”

Other speakers noted that the implementation of mega projects face many impediments like land acquisition problems, lack of rational mechanism for determining compensation, inadequate and poor public consultation process and severe procedural delays.

Addressing the issue of environment impact assessment (EIA), Prabhu said: “While no project can come up without an EIA, this compliance should not be treated as a hindrance, instead there should be a concerted effort to prepare environment management plans. The laws are in place, it is the implementation that needs attention.”

Fali S. Nariman, eminent jurist and president of the Bar Association of India, said: “Dispute containment is the most important thing to save public time and money where large infrastructure projects are concerned.”

Nariman added that arbitration and legal recourse should be the last option where large infrastructure projects are concerned.