Government think tank Niti Aayog has said India meets its material demand mostly from domestic resources that “negatively” impact a sizeable population as a result of the destruction of forests and mineral extraction. Niti Aayog in its ‘Strategy Paper on Resource Efficiency’ said that mining activity has already led to large-scale destruction of forests, displacement of millions accompanied by loss of land and livelihood for many. “Owing to deteriorating socio-environmental conditions, the opposition of tribals and other local communities against mining has increased during recent years,” the strategy paper added.
Thus, further significant increase of mining activity will lead to even more social and environmental conflicts than today, it said. Besides, the strategy paper said the focus on raw materials required by vehicle manufacturing, the choice of modes of transportation has a very significant impact on resource use.
“Heavy reliance on private vehicles means much higher levels of resource requirements compared to reliance on public transportation. Thus, due to the dwindling resource availability, environmental destruction, and the challenges of climate change, developing a sustainable model of public transportation for the future is a matter of great significance and urgency,” it said.
Niti Aayog under the supervision of Principal Adviser Ratan Watal has provided key technical support in positioning the strategy paper for public consultation. All stakeholders can offer their comment by July 15.