India's chemical and petrochemical industry should protect environment at all cost even if development work is hit slightly, a senior government official said on Tuesday.
Addressing a sustainability conference organised by Indian Chemical Council (ICC), Chemicals and Petrochemicals Secretary P Raghavendra Rao said: "Please do ensure that whatever we do, whatever we talk of investment, growth and development do not lose the sight, how we protect environment".
The industry must keep in mind that "environment need to be protected at all cost, even if growth and development takes a slight hit", he added.
Talking about pollution in the national capital region (NCR), the secretary said this situation of being in a gas chamber cannot be sustained.
He said it was not only burning of crop residues but fire crackers, excess use of chemicals and pesticides and vehicles among others are contributing to this pollution level.
The secretary rued that the country's chemicals and petrochemical industry is sixth largest in the world but it has a share of only 3 per cent. However, he said the growth of this USD 160 billion industry is higher than the country's GDP growth.
The secretary said the government is focusing on the growth of Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Regions (PCPIRs) projects and will hold a conference soon to attract investments and make these PCPIRs a growth of engine.
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