FROM DOWN TO EARTH SEPTEMBER 15 2014 BY SUNITA NARAIN
Environmentalists are rightly alarmed that the NDA government is busy dismantling the environmental regulatory system in the country. Over the past two months, the media has reported that clearances for projects, from mining to roads, have been fast-tracked. While the web¬site of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) has not been updated in August, in the two months till July end, forest clearance was granted to over 92 pro¬jects, which will divert some 1,600 hectares of forest. More recently, it was reported that the National Board for Wildlife has processed many projects located near or in sanctuaries and national parks.
Additionally, rules are being changed, purportedly to speed up the process. This is being done in mainly two ways. One, as much as possible, MOEF is push¬ing decision-making to the states –Read more