The new Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Anil Madhav Dave is an expert in river conservation. Being an environmentalist himself, he cycles to work. It is not that he arrives to Parliament on cycle for photo opportunity, he has been doing it always.
On assuming charge of his ministry he had said that he would maintain a balance between development and environment.
Challenges for the new minister:
Mr. Dave has been appointed as minister of state (independent charge) for environment, forest and climate change at a time when the government is being blamed for diluting environmental laws.
The Forest Rights Act, 2006, for which the opposition is planning agitations saying that the rights of tribals and other forest dwellers have been diluted. He will have to work more tightly on country's forest policy as the ministry has been mired in controversy for promoting the idea of allowing industries to use government's forest land.
The ministry is said to be working for ease of doing business rather than protecting environment.
It is said that the ministry gives environmental and forest clearances at a very fast rate.
With regards to hydro power projects on River Ganga the new environment minister feels that every river should flow. This puts him at loggerheads with water resources ministry.
What goes in favour of Anil Madhav Dave:
Here are some strengths for which he has been given the portfolio of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
He has been actively involved in conservation work on the Narmada river.
He was also part of the parliamentary forum on global warming and climate change.
He is an accessible person and prefers to work in informal way. On assuming charge of his ministry he had told officers, "I work hard. Since I do not have kids and don't have to take them out in evenings, you might have problems (due to late working hours). But I will ensure that your evenings and dinners are not spoiled."
He has written a book on climate change called Beyond Copenhagen.
He has been member of various parliamentary panels such as those on water resources.