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Shingkhar-Gorgan road is the picture of our indecision. It’s been sometime now. Such foot-dragging is sad.

Laws we have many. But if we hold on to the laws, we lose our senses. That much is clear. Where do we get wrong?

Following procedure is also necessary. Have we done that?

But that’s just one picture of the story.

We have constitutional mandate to respect environment. Is respecting constitutional mandate the most viable option when policies themselves are conflicting?

In this – Shingkhar-Gorgan case – fake environmentalists should take the backseat. The nation works for societal good, not for some self-interest pockets.

This has been the narrative of a simple road.

Now, unfortunately, it is getting politicised. This is the real question. How do we see this initiative?

Taking roads to the communities that need the most has been messed by some self-proclaimed environmentalists. Environmental motormouths will be there but we call them to come to the senses. Is protecting nature more important that the well-being of our people in the remote areas?

If senseless we are, just because certain policies allow us to be, what service are we rendering our nation that strives for the welfare of the people?

Shingkhar-Gorgan is the story of this day. As our population grows, more such needs will come. How will we deal with them? The need today is to look at the common good. Thinking about the future is more important, alleviating poverty and empowering our people in the far-off villages. Rather than standing individual grounds, time has come for us to think about the future needs of the nation.

At a time when this nation that has so deeply depended on foreign aid that is now fast declining, sensible approach of development is critically necessary. Holding on to absolute protection of environment is, in this sense, vastly absurd.

Laws and mandates should meet and agree with each other. But the real purpose of development should be focused on the benefit of the people, especially in the far-flung parts of our country.

The real matter is this: take the road to the communities that need the most. It’s about how fairy we look at development. We can shout from the capital. This is one thing. How people wail from the distant valleys, do we even hear?

The so-called environment leaders must listen to the real needs of the people.

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