Cheaper cars pose threat to environment: Book

PTI New Delhi | Updated on May 12, 2011 Published on May 10, 2011

Trees in arch formation at Sangareddy, Andhra Pradesh, providing shade to road users. -- Mohd Arif   -  THE HINDU

The race among Indian automobile manufacturers to make cheap cars, initiated by Tata’s Nano will further create pollution, road congestion, global warming and health problems, says a new book.

“The lure of speedy progress and big money is simply intoxicating for the Indian lawmakers, bureaucrats and corporate houses that they choose to adopt an extremely myopic vision as if there will be no tomorrow. It ignores all warning signals of environmental degradation,” says the book, “Trees Incredible: Life Sustaining Lives” by Madan Mohan Pant, a former Indian Forest Service official.

“Tata Motors has now the unique distinction of making the world’s cheapest, Rs 1,00,000, pioneer Nano car. It has set in motion a competition for the production of cheap cars.

The increased demand for fossil fuels, roads and infrastructure would further create environmental problems,” says the book.

Apart from discussing the necessary linkages and interactions between natural elements and trees in a life sustaining environment, the book also shares interesting information related to trees.

The book, published by Rupa & Co refers to a research finding by the United States Dept of Agriculture, which states that over a 50-year lifetime, an average tree provides us services worth $162,000.

The book says the British had adapted environment governance practices from the best European schools, to suit the diverse types of forests and conditions of rivers in India but in the twilight of independence, there was a kind of ‘loot of the vast and unlocked’ forest.

“Tree-cutting gave cash and land, almost instantly. This was because forestry was controlled by the State governments who had limited staff and no political will to implement the National Forest Policy,” says the book.

Published on May 10, 2011
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