CAG finds out several procedural deficiencies in green clearances

Each project is treated as a single project for Environment Impact Assessment, but cumulative   Environment  Impact  Assess ment  which  is  critical in evaluating impact, was lacking : Report 

Published: 10th March 2017 07:41 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th March 2017 07:41 PM   |  A+A-

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By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The existing processes for grant of environmental clearance suffered from various procedural deficiencies and there were delays at each stage of the Environment Impact Assessment process, said a report released by the CAG.

The report on ‘Environment Clearance and Post Clearance’ says that each project is treated as a single project for Environment Impact Assessment but  cumulative  Environment  Impact  Assess ment  which  is  critical  in evaluating impact on environment, was found to be lacking.

“There were variations in the database for the projects granted Environmental Clearance by the Ministry as initially received from the National Informatics cell and that provided by the Ministry. A National Regulator  to  oversee  the  entire  process  of  grant  of environmental  clearance  and monitoring  is  yet  to  be  appointed  despite  directions  of  the  Supreme  Court,” said the report.

The report found serious flaws in the processes including that the environmental clearances were granted to the project proponents without checking the compliance of the conditions mentioned in the previous environmental clearances and recommendations of the regional office.

“There  were  shortages  in  compliance  of  13  general  conditions  prescribed  in  the environmental  clearances  by  the  project  proponents. The non-compliances noticed were non fulfillment of the environment management plan commitments, maintaining sufficient greenbelt, activities under Enterprise Social Responsibility, change in scope of the projects without requisite approvals and commencement of construction/operations before grant of environmental clearance,” the report found.

It also found that the environment ministry and Central Pollution Control Board did not undertake environmental quality monitoring in Critically Polluted Areas due to non-finalization of the firms for the same.

“No penalty was imposed by the Ministry for violating conditions of environmental clearance in the last two years,” it added.

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