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Constitutional Outlook Of Sustainable Development In India

Sustainable development is a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. A sustainable development strategy is a tool for informed decision making that provides a framework for systematic thought across sectors and territory this paper tries to put forth the need for sustainable development in India. As we are all aware the growth of urbanization has changed the economic growth and development of the country is striving to prevent the condition a proper planning has to be made which concerned the preservation of the environment.

The objective of this paper is to examine what initiative the government is taking for the protection of the environment this paper also comprises a right that is available to the citizens and the remedies for their infringement and also consists of the duties of the state towards the citizen for the preservation of the environment and will also include the suggestion that how the right implementation of sustainable development can lead to the effective functioning of the economy for the growth and expansion of the country.

Sustainable Development is a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generation to meet their own needs the term sustainable development was first introduced in the Cocoyoc declaration on environment and development in early 1970. Sustainable development means integration of development and environmental imperative.

It is essentially a policy and strategy for continued economic and social development without detriment to the environment and natural resources on the quality of which continued activity. development should take place in the present but it should not hinder the growth of the future generation for a bright today bleak tomorrow cannot be counted and it cannot be the last sight of that will today's yesterday's tomorrow it is tomorrow's yesterday [1].

Even the country globally has accepted the concept of Sustainable Development that promotes the prosperity and economic opportunity greater social well-being and protection of the environment. it was the best path forward for improving the lives of people everywhere as we are all aware that resources are limited but human demands are unlimited .sustainable development plays an important role globally as it encourages us to conserve energy and power resource base by gradually changing the ways in which we develop and use Technology .countries must be allowed to meet the basic needs of employment, food , energy, water, and sanitation so to be sustainable, development must possess economical and ecological sustainability it indicates the way in which development should be approached [2].

Objectives Of Sustainable Development

The sustainable development goals were born at the United Nation conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janerio in 2012 the objectives to produce a set of Universal goals that made the urgent environmental political and economic challenges facing our world. on 1st January 2016.the 17 sustainable development goals of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development were adopted by the world hidden September 28 officially at annual Summit officially came into force.

17 sustainable development goals for 2030 are goal:
  1. No poverty goal
  2. Hunger goal
  3. Good health and well-being goal
  4. Quality education goal
  5. Gender equality goals
  6. Clean water and sanitation goals
  7. Affordable and Clean Energy goal
  8. Decent work and economic growth goal
  9. Industry Innovation and infrastructure goal
  10. Reduced inequalities goal
  11. Sustainable cities and communities goal
  12. Responsible consumption and production goal
  13. Climate action goal
  14. Life below water goal
  15. Life on land goal
  16. Peace and Justice strong institution goal
  17. Partnership to achieve the goal

Fundamental Duties

Fundamental duties (part 4A) were added by the 42nd amendment act 1976 in the constitution [3]. It states that it shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife, and to have compassion for a living creature.

Article 51 A (g) refers to the fundamental duty of every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment

Article 51 A (j) further provided that it shall be the duty of every citizen of India to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective everything so that the nation constantly rises to a higher level of endeavor and achievement.

The need of the hour is that we should be the real citizen of the country striving towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity including the protection of the environment [4].

Directive Principles Of The State Policy

Part 4 of the Constitution deals with Directive Principles of State Policy, these Directive principles are designed to guide the Destiny of the nation by obligating three Wings of the state to implement these principles.

Article 47 - it is the duty of the state to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and improve Public Health.

Article 48A (added by the 42nd amendment act 1976)- the state shall endeavor to protect and improve environment and safeguarding of forest and wildlife.

The Directive Principles form the fundamental feature and the social conscience of the constitution and the constitution enjoins upon the state to implement these directive principles [5].
In MC Mehta Vs Union Of India [6] popularly known as CNG case the court observed that articles 39(e), 47, and 48A by themselves and collectively Costa duty on the state to secure the health of the people improve public health and protect and improve the environment.

Fundamental Rights

There are certain fundamental rights that are available to the citizens of the countries:
  • Article 14: Equality before the law
  • Article 19: protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech
  • Article 21: protection of life and personal liberty.
Article 21 is the heart of fundamental rights and has received expanded meaning from time to time. All these rights have secured the people of India and the constitution of India what you learned in part 3 dealing with fundamental rights.

In MC Mehta v/s Union of India [7] popularly known as (Oleum gas leak case):
the supreme court once again implied treated the right to live in pollution the free environment is a father of the fundamental right to life under article 21 of the constitution.

In the case of Rajiv Ranjan Singh v/s state of Bihar [8]:
it was held by the Patna High Court that failure to protect the inhabitants of the locality from the poisonous and highly injurious effects of the tree effluents and fumes mounted tournament of the inhabitant's rights granted under article 14 and 21 in this case the court held that the company shall have the have to bear all the expenses of his treatment and sweet able compensation to be awarded to the citizen [9].

Remedies For The Enforcement Of Fundamental Rights

The most innovative part of the Constitution is that right to enforce the fundamental right by moving the Supreme Court is itself a fundamental right under article 32 of the Constitution [10].

Writ jurisdiction which is conferred on the supreme court under article 32 and on the 25 high courts under article 226 of the constitution .under these provisions the supreme court and the high court has the power to issue any direction on orders including writs in the nature of Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Prohibition, Quo Warranto, and Certiorari whichever is appropriate [11].

Public Interest Litigation

PIL is an important tool in the hand of the people to approach to the Supreme Court for enforcement of their rights and it has played an important role in developing and providing impetus to environmental jurisprudence with human rights approach. it is the most popular approach because it is relatively speedy, economic and provide a direct approach to the higher judiciary thereby reducing the chances of further appeals.

The relaxed rules of locus standi in evolution and Organisation of epistolary Jurisdiction by the Supreme Court and the high court have further ensured the public participation in matters like Environment protection.

Government initiative for sustainable development includes:
  1. Swachh bharat mission:
    It was initiated to bring improvement in the general quality of life in the rural areas, by promoting cleanliness, hygiene, and eliminating open defecation. To accelerate the sanitation coverage in rural areas to achieve the goal of 'neat and tidy India� mission.
  2. Beti bachao beti padhao:
    Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao is a campaign of the Government of India that aims to generate awareness and improve the efficiency of welfare services intended for girls in India.
  3. Pradhan mantriawasjoyana:
    Pradhan MantriAwas Yojana is an initiative by Government of India in which affordable housing will be provided to the urban poor.
  4. Smart cities:
    Smart City Mission, is an urban renewal and retrofitting program by the Government of India with the mission to develop 100 smart cities across the country making them citizen-friendly and sustainable.
  5. Pradhan mantri Jan dhanyojana:
    Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, is financial inclusion program of the Government of India which is applicable to 10 to 65 years age group, that aims to expand and make affordable access to financial services such as bank accounts, remittances, credit, insurance, and pensions.
  6. Deen dayal upadhyay gram jyoti yojana:
    Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana is a Government of India scheme designed to provide continuous power supply to rural India. The government plans to invest ₹756 billion for rural electrification under this scheme.
  7. Pradhan mantriujjawalyojana:
    Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana was launched by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on 1 May 2016 to distribute 50 million LPG connections to women of BPL families.
  8. Namami Ganga Mission:
    It is a key policy priority towards achieving the SDG 6 was launched as a Priority program major components include sewage project management Urban and rural sanitation, tacking industrial pollution water use efficiency and quality improvement, ecosystem conservation, and clean Ganga fund among others.
  9. National clean air programme (2019):
    The increasing air pollution has affected the growth has also factored the growth of the country for this purpose Government of India has launched the National clean air program in 2019 as a plan India time-bound National level strategy for preservation and control and abatement of air pollution besides augmenting the air quality monitoring network across the country.

Sustainable development is the pathway to the future we want for all. It orders a framework to generate economic growth, achieve social justice, and exercise environmental stewardship and strength governance.

Climate change knows no borders. It will not stop before the Pacific Islands and the whole of the international community here has to shoulder a responsibility to bring about sustainable development. Sustainable development is recognized as a world-changing phenomenon. It has completely changed the scenario of the developed countries like Japan, which is constantly focusing to achieve the goal of sustainable development.

Recently, the law on sustainable development is gaining momentum at local, national, regional, and international levels but the dream of achieving it can be possible by involving maximum participation of its citizens in the country.

Future is in the hand of the people and people can transform the nation with the latest technologies and management. It is the need of every country to achieve the 17 goals set to be achieved by 2030 or we will lose our life to economic disparities, pollution, and other hazardous substances. Our Indian constitution has also played a vital role in sustainable development it has made several provisions for the preservation and conservation of forests in human life from any kind of pollution or harmful substance.

The constitutional makers had very cleverly put provisions like Article 51A (j) (g) in the fundamental duties as fundamental duties are nothing but the long-term goals which the makers had in their mind for the country to achieve in the future. There are several duties embodied in the constitution that make it obligatory (morally) for the citizen to protect and preserve the forest.

The main object to add the fundamental duties was that the government knew that the participation of citizens can bring a positive change in the country. The introduction of PIL as an exception to locus standi was just a step closer to achieve such goals. The inclusion of the provision of locus standi just made people out there more attentive and sensitive towards their responsibility or the environment and people like M.C Mehta are surely doing justice to that.

All of this concluded on the thing that we don�t lack provisions for the environment but what we lack is their strict implementation. Environmental laws in India are not given the status they need at the time and they're not being implemented properly is one of the outcomes of flexible laws. We don�t exactly need new laws for sustainable development but proper implementation of existing laws with stricter punishments and penalties. We also need to make people aware of the concept and the ways they can contribute individually.

Needless to say that sustainable development is not an individual thing it affects people at large and changes at a larger level will only help us in achieving our goals, but we also need to keep in mind that only combined individual effects are going to be a mass movement and every individually taking responsibility for protecting their development can make this development grows.

Several rights are also given to the citizen who signifies that citizens have the right to quality of life and can approach to the court if such rights are infringed. So we can say that India is working hard to achieve the goal of sustainable development and the right implementation of government policy can lead India to its highest growth and can change the picture of the country in the next decade.

  1. TN Godavarman Thirumupalpad v/s Union of India (2002) 10 SCC 606 at 630
  2. Gurdeep Singh environmental law International and national perspective, 210(1995)
  3. Article 11 of the constitution (42nd amendment) act, 1976
  4. LK koolwal v/s state, AIR 1988 raj.2
  5. State of Kerala v/s NM Thomas (1976) 2 SCC 310 at 379
  6. MC Mehta v/s Union of India (2002) 4 SCC 356
  7. MC Mehta v/s Union of India, AIR 1987 sc 1086
  8. Rajiv Ranjan Singh v/s state of Bihar, AIR 1992 Pat 86
  9. PS Jaiswal Environmental law 2011 Edition ID 87
  10. Article 32 sub-clause 1
  11. Article 32 clause 2; Article 226 sub-clause 1

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