The Sagarmala Project undertaken by the Modi Government is one of the most ambitious & aggressive of projects & has the capability of changing the face of the Indian economy.
On 25th March 2015 the Cabinet gave approval for this project to develop 12 ports into modern world-class ports, & 1208 islands. The programme aims to promote port-led development by harnessing India’s 7,500 km long coastline, 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways & strategic location on key international maritime trade routes.
Water transportation costs just 25 paisa/km & it is this factor that the government is looking to take advantage of. An economist once said that if our government had thought about such a water transportation scheme 10 years ago, then India would have been an $8-10 trillion economy by now! The project is envisioned to save annual logistics cost of â‚¹35,000 crore. The project is estimated to boost India”™s merchandise exports to $110 Billion by 2025. It is further estimated that 1 crore new jobs will be created out of which 40 lakh will be in direct employment.
So as one can see that this project is a must for a developing economy like India. Yet, NDTV continues its long streak of anti-Modi campaigning, & this time it has gone one step too far ““ it has lodged a petition against the project.
NDTV filed a petition before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against the Sagarmala Project. NDTV in its petition has wished for ““
- stopping of work on all new ports as an interim measure
- civil & criminal action be taken against authorities, governments & private companies
- formulation of a national coastal policy
- creation of a restoration fund &
- cumulative environmental, economic & social impact assessment
A few questions come to mind ““
- How does a media houseÂ become an expert on environmental issues?
- Did NDTV submit any reports to back its claims?
- Are all the shareholders of the company aware of these antics of NDTV which is clearly drifting away from its stated goals of being a media house?
- Does NDTV which is in itself embroiled in numerous tax scandals, have the moral right of pontificating on such issues?
What is important to remember is that projects undertaken by the government in partnership with state governments & private entities are not implemented without detailed study. Independent experts are appointed to study environmental impact of projects & their feasibility.
It”™s amply clear to the common man that a media house cannot have any expertise in such matters. NDTV isn”™t doing this in ignorance or in genuine concern about the environmental damage (if any) that the project is going to cause. It is simply another ploy to hijack Narendra Modi”™s development agenda & stop growth & creation of jobs which will lead to dissatisfied people & a possible loss for Narendra Modi in the next general elections.
Development should be sustainable & balanced, & I don”™t think one can doubt the intentions of the current government in this aspect. The formation of the International Solar Alliance, planting of over 1 crore trees along all major highways, & an array of other steps by the government are evidence of how focused the government is toward sustainable development.
The Modi Government has cancelled registrations of nearly 15,000 NGO”™s because they don”™t file returns. The money they receive from abroad is used in obstructing developmental projects all the while feigning concern for the environment. An IB report once claimed that such acts have cost India 2-3% of its GDP growth. Now that such NGO”™s have lost their hold in the nation, NDTV could be filling in that vacuum. Either NDTV is doing this owing to its long-lasting acrimony against Narendra Modi, or it is now receiving money from NGO”™s abroad to stall development projects.
Either way, in the last two years people have identified what NDTV truly is ““ an anti-national media house that will propagate all sorts of lies & distort news to destroy the reputation of not only Narendra Modi but even our army. It”™s for us to stand up against such corrupt entities & slowly but surely obliterate their existence from our country.