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Balancing industry and environment in India.

shriram | 24th January 2015 | Forest And Environment
Balancing industry and environment in India.

    President Obama heads to India for talks on cleaning up one of the world's most polluted countries.

India's new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has vowed to spend more on solar projects. but for now, coal is still the cheapest and most-viable energy source.

Coal powers the majority of the more than 800 factories in Vapi, a city that's a four-hour drive north of Mumbai -- unless you're with Rajju Shroff.


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Shroff, a billionaire businessman, commutes to his United Phosphorous plant by helicopter. Among other things, he makes pesticides -- some for sale in the U.S. -- and employs 3,000 people in India.

"We have millions of people still jobless in India," Shroff says. "And unless we develop industry, unless we increase employment, there will be a problem."

But industrial development can come at a cost to the environment.

"If we are serious, we can do most fast industrial development and we can still control the environment," Shroff says.

Shroff applauds his friend Prime Minister Modi for lowering what he calls "barriers" to business. Regulations have been rolled back to allow factories to expand, even in polluted areas.
India is really serious about the environment," Shroff insists. "We are working hard -- We have a prime minister now who is very, very particular about climate change and about the environment."

In December, India pledged along with 200 other countries to develop a plan to cut greenhouse gases.

But with its population expected to grow by 400 million people by 2050, the reality is more plants powered by coal will be needed to meet demand.


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