“Policy contradictions among various competing sectors and stakeholders have resulted in inadequate ‘protection and prevention of degradation to the environment.” Comment with relevant illustrations. (150 words)

India’s rapid industrialization has had negative impacts on the environment, and attempts to protect and prevent its degradation have been inadequate due to policy contradictions among stakeholders. Several examples illustrate this issue:

  • Dams: Although the government viewed dams as an essential aspect of modernizing India, their construction has caused conflicts with environmental interests. The Uttarakhand floods demonstrate the negative impact of dams.
  • Western Ghats: Ecologically sensitive zones are being adversely affected by unchecked developmental activities. Conflicting reports from different panels, such as the Kasturirangan and Gadgil Committees, lead to delays in effective policy formulation.
  • Delhi’s Odd-Even policy: Despite being a step in the right direction to curb environmental pollution, this policy was criticized by various stakeholders and ultimately proved inadequate due to several exceptions made to it.
  • Diwali crackers: A partial ban on firecrackers was imposed to limit noise and environmental pollution, but it conflicted with cultural beliefs and turned out to be inadequate to prevent environmental degradation.

To address this issue, streamlining multiple policies, forming joint committees with experts from different spheres, and harnessing traditional knowledge can go a long way in rectifying policy paralysis and making the policy structure adequate to protect and prevent environmental degradation.

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