Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

India's environment minister Anil Madhav Dave dies at 60

India's environment minister Anil Madhav Dave dies at 60

President Pranab Mukherjee has condoled the passing away of Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave.

Dave, who became the minister for environment, forest and climate change past year, was working till Wednesday.

Last night after a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi late in the evening, he took simple dinner with a cabinet minister from MP at his Safdarjung Road official residence and went to sleep at his usual time. He was also closely associated with Narmada conservation through his organisation- Narmada Samagra and also played an important role in organising the Simhastha Kumbh and World Hindi Conference past year. As head of the Select Committee of Rajya Sabha on the Real Estate Regulation Bill, he managed to get all members on board and form a consensus. He expressed an opposition to big dams and an admiration for Tripura's CPI (M) chief minister Manik Sarkar for his "simplicity". The recent tweet about Dave giving him a tag name - "A Devoted Public Servant". "My condolences", Modi tweeted.

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He also worked towards promoting bio-toilets in schools in Madhya Pradesh. He had been a member of the Rajya Sabha since 2009.

Colleagues remembered Dave as a passionate conservationist who spearheaded a campaign to protect India's Narmada river running through his home state of Madhya Pradesh. He has left his Union Minister's position vacant. Cabinet colleague Nitin Gadkari, expressing his condolences said, "Shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden demise of our colleague Anil Madhav Dave ji".

Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave, who died on Thursday, was a man of varied interests - the environment, social work, and flying - with a preference for organic farming and an Indian way of life to deal with climate change.

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"Shocked by his sudden demise", Sonia Gandhi said in a statement.

Dave, who was appointed Environment Minister only a year ago. was involved in social work right from his early days and founded NGO "Narmada Samagra" for conservation of the river.

Perhaps one of most critical changes to the environmental regulations that Dave was overseeing at the time of his demise was the ordered adjustment and dilution of the coastal protection regime.

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He met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday evening, and was in office the whole day.

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