Current scenario: Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is an important management tool for ensuring optimal usage of natural resources for sustainable development. Environmental clearance is a major issue for projects across important sectors of the industry, like thermal power, infrastructure, river valley, mining, nuclear power and defence. Environmental Clearance (EC) has been accorded to two hundred thirty seven projects between April to December, 2014.
|Environmental Clearances accorded during April – December, 2014|
|CATEGORY OF PROJECTS||TOTAL|
|River Valley & Hydro-Electric||05|
|CRZ, Infrastructure, Construction, Industrial Estates||52|
|Nuclear, Defence & Strategic Projects||03|
Source: Annual Report 2014-15, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change
Regeneration and sustainable economic development is actively promoted by the National Afforestation Programme (NAP). The programme is now implemented through a three tier system of State Forests Development Agency (SFDA) at the state level, Forest Development Agency (FDAs) at the district/forest division level and Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) at the village level. The above diagram shows the state wise status of SFDA projects (excluding the North Eastern States) for the Apr 2010 to December 2014 period. A grand total of INR 1276.44 crore had been released against a total cost of INR 1731.29 crore. The North Eastern states accounted for only 22 % of the amount released durng the concerned period.
- India has ranked 24th out of 70 countries in the first Environmental Democracy Index that evaluates nations’ progress in enacting laws to promote transparency, accountability and citizen engagement in environmental decision making. Environmental democracy isn’t just about making environmental information available to the public. It should also allow citizens to be a meaningful part of the environmental decision-making process.
- Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Mr. Prakash Javadekar has observed that Climate Action has a cost and India supports the Polluter Pays principle. Quick operationalisation of the Green Climate Fund could finance the cost of making climate-friendly technologies available to developing countries, at affordable costs.
- The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has accorded environment clearance for construction of the 2,880-MW Dibang Multipurpose Project in Lower Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh by the NHPC Ltd. The total estimated cost of the project is INR 25347 crore. The project is likely to be completed in nine years.
- The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has submitted to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that its role in curbing vehicular emissions is “limited” and confined to the framing of air quality standards.
- MoEFCC wants state governments to prepare mechanisms for door-to-door collection of waste and segregation of solid waste, including construction or demolition waste, at its source, in all urban areas within two years. The centre wants states to ensure that recycled materials from construction and demolition waste are used for load-bearing structures. The state governments have also been asked to have waste-recycling units in all industrial areas and clusters, apart from sharing common treatment, storage and disposal facilities for hazardous waste with each other. The ministry has also asked states to enforce effective plastic and e-waste management rules, by firmly implementing Extended Producers Responsibility, whereby producers are liable for collection and recycling.