To kickstart the economy, India’s environment ministry is clearing projects in 10 minutes
The environment ministry is considering large scale mining, infrastructure and industrial projects for environment, forest and wildlife clearances by hosting video meetings of its expert panels. This is despite the expert panels admitting that time available for considering some of these projects is “very less” and in some cases just about 10 minutes per project.
A nod from the expert panels, the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC), and 10 Expert Appraisal Committees (EAC), is necessary for projects to get green clearances from the central government’s ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC).
The EACs would not be able to carry out site visits to verify the information presented to it, and its decisions would depend entirely on documentation and reports provided by the project developer, said Leo Saldanha, coordinator at the Environment Support Group in Bengaluru. “About 99% of such reports are known to be fraudulent,” Saldanha said.