Visakhapatnam, Jan 3: Justifying his support for the successful conclusion of the Indo-US civil nuclear energy cooperation, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said that the atomic power could play a significant role in country's energy security in the long run. Addressing the 95th Indian Science Congress here, Singh said, "In the longer run, atomic energy can also make an important contribution to energy security for our country.
It is this perspective which has led us to seek the removal of restrictive regimes which prevent India from participation in international trade in civilian nuclear materials, equipment and technologies."
Singh, who said that the Climate Change poses a great challenge to country's developmental prospects and to the livelihood of poor people, called for the development of alternative renewable energy sources.
"We have to evolve a development path which reduces energy intensity of our economy over time and promotes simultaneously the use of energy efficient technologies such as clean coal technologies," he said, adding that he would like to see a concerted effort being made in the development of solar energy by country's scientific, technological and business communities.
Linking energy conservation with the promotion of mass public transport, which was one of the five areas where he sought scientific progress to be made, Singh said, "We need environment-friendly public transport solutions that are affordable by all. I regret to note that many of our roads in urban areas provide no space for pedestrians or bicycle riders. This must change."
Singh said that the country's manufacturing sector is not yet very efficient in the utilization of natural resources, especially land and power and added that the sustainable development requires more efficient utilization of these resources by modern industry.
On the issue of building technologies, Singh stressed on the benefits of traditional technologies, which he said were largely environment-friendly.
"Over the years a great deal of what is called modern building technology is environmentally ill-suited and unsustainable. This poses a technological challenge which must be squarely addressed," he said, and added, "We need locally relevant all-weather building technologies and construction technologies and methodologies that can reduce our growing dependence on air-conditioning."