India loses 10 pc GDP paying for polluting environment: Dr Pachauri

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New Delhi, Apr 25 (UNI) India is losing ten per cent of the GDP because of environmental costs, Chairman of the UN body on Climate change Dr R K Pachauri said here today.

''We first pollute rivers, and then spend crores on their cleaning, and sewage treatment plants. We never realise the environmental cost of unclean industrial practices and lavish lifestyle,'' Dr Pachauri said.

He was speaking at a press conference called to announce the NDTV plan to launch a three-year nationwide environmental campaign in partnership with Toyota to create awareness to meet the challenge of global warming and resultant climate change.

The campaign 'Open Up Tomorrow, Today' will be launched in May this year, NDTV Chairman Pranoy Roy said.

Dr Pachauri called for behavioural change to save the earth, saying people had given up past tradition and traditional wisdom and taken to a lifestyle which was not environmentally sustainable.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Science and Technology Kapil Sibal said there was need to work with small and medium entrepreneurs as the big industries had the means to use clean technologies, but the small and medium units like arc furnaces and foundries had no clean mechanism.

He said people need to change the way they think, and hoped the NDTV campaign will be able to put its message across to the masses.

Mr Roy said the campaign will invlove year-long programming dedicated to promote environmental awareness and road safety. The highlight of the campaign will be a 24-hour telethon, which will be aired across all NDTV channels.

There will be interactive programmes wherein viewere can participate by voting, contributing financially and giving ideas to improve environment.

He said he was happy that people like Dr Pachauri and Dr Sibal were supporting the NDTV initiative.

UNI NAZ GL PM1926

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