NEW DELHI: In a move to expedite the process of green clearance for infrastructure and construction projects, the Union Environment Ministry has come up with standardized environmental clearance (EC) conditions for airports, port, harbour, townships and area development projects.
This comes after Environment Ministry came up with standard EC conditions for 25 industrial sectors like hydroelectric projects, industrial estates, pharmaceutical and chemical industries.
The notification issued January 4 is seen as an effort to further relax norms for the sectors to expedite clearances of projects. Earlier, every project had to comply to specific conditions, keeping in mind the likely impact on the environment.
According to the ministry, the notification will ensure expediting of green clearances without compromising laws.
“The standard environmental clearance conditions have been prepared for expediting the process of environment clearance without compromising environmental norms and the rigour of environmental impact assessment,” said the notification.
The standard Environment Clearance conditions shall be considered by the concerned EAC (Expert Appraisals Committee) with due diligence while recommending the environment clearance. The EAC can modify and prescribe additional conditions based on the project-specific requirements.
The NDA government has relaxed several green norms to expedite clearance processes in the last five years. An online project application and clearance process of projects has been launched to cut down on time needed by the Environment Ministry to accord project approval.
The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has notified the environment impact assessment notification, 2006 under the provisions of the Environment Protection Act, 1986, which regulates development and their expansion, modernization of 39 sectors/activities.
There are two categories of projects: Category ‘A’ projects are handled by the ministry and category ‘B’ projects are handled by state environment impact assessment authority.