Centre seems to be in a hurry to find devious means to bribe cash starved states to push environmental clearances for projects!
■ Centre to Rank States On Faster Green Nods–
✅The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has proposed to “”incentivize states”” by ranking them based on “”efficiency and timeliness in granting environmental clearances”.
✅The State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) will be ranked first because it clears projects in the quickest amount of time, has a high clearance rate, and requires fewer “”important details.””
✅In order to streamline clearance processes, the time frame for providing environmental clearance to a project has already been cut from 105 days to 75 days.
● Key Points Of the Order:
✅SEIAA will be ranked first because it clears projects in the quickest amount of time, has a high clearance rate, and requires fewer “”important details.””
✅States will be rewarded based on their efficiency and timeliness in granting EC funds through a star-rating system (environmental clearance).
● Parameters for the rating system:
✅Marks Days taken for
clearance by the
2 < 80 days
1 < 105 days
0.5 105 – 120 days
0 > 120 days
✅Rating on the basis of disposal of fresh TOR: The state authorities will also be rated on the percentage of disposal of fresh Terms of Reference (TOR) or TOR amendment proposals pending for over 30 days.
✅State officials will be paid as well for requesting fewer environmental details.(Details on the environment are required)
✅The ranking system also considers how complaints are handled.
✅If an SEIAA receives more than 7 points based on these criteria, it will be given a 5-star rating (the highest ranking). Any SEIAA with a total score of less than 3 shall receive no star.
● Reaction on the move:
✅This has been criticised by environmentalists.
✅They claim that state officials, whose job is to promote environmental protection, would now “compete” to clear projects quickly in order to boost state rankings.
● What is SEIAA?
✅The SEIAAs are in charge of obtaining environmental approval for the vast majority of infrastructural, development, and industrial projects.
✅Established under The Environment Protection Act of 1986.
✅Objective: To examine the planned project’s impact on the environment and people, and to try to minimise that damage.
● Importance of EIA:
✅Provides a low-cost strategy for reducing or eliminating the negative effects of development projects.
✅Allows decision-makers to assess the impact of developmental activities on the environment prior to the project’s implementation.
✅Encourages the development plan to incorporate mitigating techniques.
● Stakeholders in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Process:
✅Those who suggest the project are known as proposers.
✅The public has the opportunity to comment on the environmental consultant who prepares the EIA on behalf of the project proponent Pollution Control Board (State or National).
✅The MoEFCC’s Regional Centre for Impact Assessment
● Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and India:
✅History: The need first arose in 1976-77 when the Planning Commission asked the Department of Science and Technology to examine the river-valley projects from an environmental angle.
✅The first EIA notification was issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 1994. (now the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change).
✅According to the notification Environmental Clearance (EC) was required for any expansion or modernisation of any activity, as well as the establishment of new projects listed in Schedule 1 of the same.
✅Statute: The Environment Protection Act of 1986, which contains various provisions on EIA methodology and process, provides legal support for environmental impact assessments in India.
● Shortcomings of EIA:
✅Time-consuming- There is little public involvement in the actual execution.
✅Sometimes get too caught up in the scientific analysis.
✅Many countries have impact assessment systems.
SOURCE – INDIAN EXPRESS