​NDA’s green clearance record not too different from UPA’s, says CSE

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on May 26, 2015

The Narendra Modi-led NDA government’s one-year record of giving environmental and forest clearances has not been very different from that of its predecessor, the UPA government, according to Centre of Science and Environment (CSE), a research and advocacy organisation. It, however, commended NDA rule for “positive” trends in pollution control.

An analysis by CSE of the government’s environmental record, says there are two clear emerging trends that are of concern. One, project clearances are being devolved to State agencies without building capacity or accountability in State-level institutions. Two, there is an effort to dilute the public hearing process, which is most pronounced in the case of the coal mining sector, said CSE..

“The analysis shows that there have been no major reforms to improve the green clearance processes for safeguarding the environment and lives and livelihoods of communities – rather, incremental changes have been made to “ease the process” of project clearances,” said CSE Director General Sunita Narain.

She said this is “not different from the previous UPA government where also there was huge hype about delays in green clearance, but the data showed that projects were being cleared and processes were made so convoluted that they stopped working to protect the environment.”

CSE said in the first year of NDA’s rule, two sectors stand out in terms of clearances granted – mining and infrastructure, especially roads. “Between June 2014 and April 2015, as many as 103 mining projects and 54 infrastructure projects were granted environmental clearance. This is about 80 per cent of all environment clearances granted in this period,” says the CSE analysis.

It, however, noted “positive trends” in pollution control and management, such as the effort to improve waste management rules, making existing pollution standards more stringent, introduction the National Air Quality Index, among others.

Published on May 26, 2015
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