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Modi govt's environment rules overhaul sparks fears of return to grim past

Courts and tribunals have struck down at least three efforts in the past three years by the environment ministry to dilute or waive environmental rules

Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during the Atmanirbhar Bharat Defence Industry Outreach Webinar via video conferencing in New Delhi on Thursday.

Battered by the pandemic, India’s government is making a renewed push to ease environmental laws that were formed as a result of the world’s deadliest industrial disaster more than three decades ago. The government is proposing to reduce public participation, exempt some projects from rigorous appraisal and legalize others that are operating without environmental approval, according to a draft posted by the Environment Ministry. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration argues that the rules are too onerous and deter investment in an economy that shrank ...