Government to fast-track green nod

• The new guidelines aims to expedite environment appraisal of industrial projects.

• Appraisals are done by Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) that has representatives from government and outside, trained in matters of ecology, wildlife and habitat preservation.

• Their advice is critical to Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change’s (MoEFCC) decision to either clear or red flag a project.

• There are separate EAC committees for industrial projects, coal mining, non-coal mining, river and hydroelectric projects.

Highlights of new guidelines:

• Ensure EAC meetings are held at least once in 15 days.

• All proposals that are placed for approval 10 days before a meeting ought to be considered.

• However, there are concerns raised that accelerated approvals don’t allow for good environmental decisions and do not necessarily ensure good economy.

• Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a process of evaluating likely environmental impacts of a proposed project or development, and is statutorily backed by Environment Protection Act, 1986.

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Mains Paper 3: Environment

Prelims level: Expert Appraisal Committee

Mains level: Highlights of new guidelines

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