NEW DELHI: In a move towards possible dilution of green clearance, an expert panel of the environment ministry discussed “reducing” conditions for environment clearance imposed on non-coal mining projects.
The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) on non-coal mining, in a meeting on June 12, informed the members that Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar directed to “workout practically implementable, monitorable and feasible and also minimise the number of environment clearance (EC) conditions” for non-coal mining projects.
Back in January 2019, the ministry had come up with standard EC conditions to expedite green clearance for ensuring ease of doing business. Later, the Quality Council of India (QCI) analysed the conditions and filed a report. The ministry has been issuing standard environment conditions for various sectors. “After detailed deliberations, the EAC expressed that the EC conditions shall be reduced to the extent possible, the conditions which are relevant and specific to the project only shall be prescribed.
The conditions shall be monitorable and quantifiable for effective compliance,” read the minutes of the meeting. It, however, said wherever forestland or wildlife issue is involved, the clearance under the Forest (Conservation) Act and Wildlife (Protection) Act shall be in place before appraisal of the project. Conditions such as compliance with the provisions of other Acts, rules, regulations, permissions, clearances, NoCs and authorisations shall not be prescribed as these compliances any way shall have to comply with the project proponents, it noted.
The committee is of the view that mitigation measures can be avoided if a list of quantifiable measures is available in the environment management plan as a separate chapter or part. “Impact of mining activities on habitation within 500m from the lease boundary, and action taken by project proponents for mitigation of the same needs special mention,” said the committee. All panel members were asked to work out on the monitorable conditions by the next meeting based on the reference of standard conditions, analysis of the QCI and learnings during the deliberations.
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