You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

No green nod required for construction on 20000-50000 sq metre area: Env Min's new EIA notification

Topics
Environment

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Construction in areas between 20,000-50,000 square metres will not require clearance from the government anymore, the Centre has said in its modified notification on the impact assessment (EIA).

The notification, recently issued by the Ministry of Environment, states that it has decided to "re-engineer" EIA rules based on amendments and the experience over the years in its implementation.

"As the principal notification has undergone substantial changes over the years, the Ministry has decided to re-engineer the entire notification in line with the amendments issued...and circulars issued from time to time and experience gained over the years in implementation of the EIA notification," it said.

Under the new notification, the process of clearances granted for sand mining and construction activities have been eased out, a decision that has not gone down well with environmental activists who claim that the EIA notification compromises public hearings.

The draft allows district-level authorities, headed by the district magistrate, to seek exemption from public hearing while granting green clearance for sand mining in areas up to five hectares of land.

Lawyer and environmentalist Vikrant Tongad said that through the notification, the government was trying to give benefit to builders and mining companies which in turn was weakening the EIA.

"Under the modified EIA, building and construction in areas between 20,000 square metres and 50,000 sq metres do not require environmental clearance, which has been taking place all this while. In the sand mining sector, no public hearing will now take place for mining in an area of 0-5 hectare. It is a wrong move and public hearing must take place," Tongad said.

He said, the government "is trying to give benefit to builders, mining companies and industries by weakening the EIA notification of 2006, which will increase pollution and corruption in India."

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a process of evaluating the likely environmental impacts of a proposed project or development, taking into account inter-related socio-economic, cultural and human-health impacts, both beneficial and adverse.

Sharing his view, Centre for Science and (CSE) deputy director general Chandra Bhushan said this draft has weakened the existing EIA.

"My first impression is that this draft, if it is converted into the final law, will weaken the environment assessment. EIA needs substantial strengthening. Public participation part has been weakened," he said.

Bhushan said that the entire process has become meaningless and will not help in bringing down corruption.

"This notification does not set up right institution for compliance of the conditions under which clearance is given. The entire process becomes meaningless. Corruption remains a major issue. The draft is a status quo draft," he said.

The activists were also of the view that this new notification would violate court and National Green Tribunal orders by which several amendments included in the EIA draft have been quashed already.

"The kind of changes which are being brought in, is a violation of court/NGT orders," Tongad said.

No comment was available from the ministry.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Fri, May 17 2019. 18:46 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU