• 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.
Mains Paper 3: Environment
Prelims level: Expert Appraisal Committee
Mains level: Highlights of new guidelines