Although development works are bound to hurt the environment, if the damage 'is manageable, they should be allowed with strict compliance to the environmental laws', he said, stressing that no development can serve the people if they do not have clean air and water.

"Environment should be top priority of any government. You can live without food for a while but you cannot live even a minute without clean air and water. Awareness about the environment is an essential feature for a proper life today. We must create consciousness about environment and teach it at school and college levels,” he said.

"No development, powerhouse, nuclear station, guns etc are going to serve you better if you cannot breathe and drink water," Justice Kumar said while speaking at "consultative meet on fly ash" organised by Centre for Fly Ash Research and Management (C-FARM).

Justice Kumar said that although every development is bound to hurt the environment but one needs to ensure that an 'irreversible' damage is not caused to the environment.

"If the damage is manageable, it should be allowed with strict compliance to the environmental laws. Whatever drawback the development leaves, there must be a system in place to handle it completely," he said.

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