Thursday 02 July 2015Press Information Bureau
Since coming to power in 2014, the NDA-2 Government has either modernized or launched afresh the following portals for environmental clearances:
Further, the online submission of applications for Terms of Reference (ToRs) and Environment Clearance (EC) has been mandated with effect from July 1, 2014, with a view to increasing transparency in the system and facilitating early decision making.
This has been accompanied by the launch of various State Environment and Forest Clearance Portals, with 19 States joining the portal with its start in 2015, something which has further complemented the NDA-2 Government's initiatives because even though applications for Category A projects come to the Union Ministry for approval, applications under Category B projects do not come to the Ministry and are dealt with at the State-level itself. Based on the experiences of increased transparency, expeditious disposal without compromising upon the rigour of Environment Clearance, the process has encouraged the Ministry to go in for a similar system at the State level.
The portals allow proponents to file applications for environment and forest clearances, while also allowing the authorities to review and dispose of the same. Earlier, the proponents could only view the status of their applications. The portal further allows users to view information such as the number of applications received and disposed of by the Ministry, and in a remarkable display of transparency also allows users to view the details of users (both proponents and authorities) who are currently logged into the system.
Vaada Raha Note: While significant measures have been taken to make the decision making on environmental clearances are transparent, information which may suggest that they are also reasonably time-bound is not readily available. Even though there is a report published by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) which suggests that the time taken to dispose environmental clearances has reasonably reduced, it is important to note that the said CAG report only evaluates progress of 216 projects out of around 2,000 applications which have been made. We are presently collating the requisite information and will be updating the status of the promise accordingly. However, till such time, it will be rated as "In Progress".