Chief Minister Mr Eknath Shinde on Tuesday called upon the developed countries to assist the state to collectively fight climate change. ‘’My vision as the Chief Minister to address climate change is based on the principle of 3 C’s ‘’Conservation, Connectivity and Clean Cities.’’ He was speaking at one of the sessions on climate change at the World Economic Forum meeting at Davos. ‘’Our concern for the cause of climate change is in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of One Earth One Family One Future,’’ he asserted.
‘’We are working on strategies to cut emissions. The steps include incentives for wind and solar energy, increasing forest cover, effective waste management and climate education in schools,’’ said Mr Shinde adding that ‘’As per Sustainable Development Goals we need to have strong public-private partnerships and Maharashtra is leading the way through the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme.’’
Although the city of Mumbai has the largest natural forest in any metropolitan area in the world, it also has some of the largest slums, said Mr Shinde. ‘’I would like to highlight one case study for making Mumbai a slum-free city. The government is providing each slum dweller with a 300 sq ft free house, cross-subsidised against free vacant land and the entire programme is executed by private developers. This is the largest public-private partnership real estate programme, ever to be undertaken in India. So far we have built almost 1 lakh houses. Some portion of land in this redevelopment project has been kept for gardens and afforestation,’’ he noted.
Mr Shinde said that more than 800 hectares of Mangroves have been protected through slum redevelopment. ‘’Our government has initiated the largest slum rehabilitation programme in Dharavi, spreading across 300 hectares which will rehabilitate 56,000 families. Through slum rehabilitation we plan to promote housing for all and reduce pollution through reclamation of land and its conversion into the urban forest,’’ he added.
‘’We also believe in collective action to combat climate change by involving civic society. We have 834 community-based organisations which create awareness amongst people about sanitation,’’ said the Chief Minister.