Regulator for green appraisals soon, says PM

Regulator for green appraisals soon, says PM

 “We hope to establish an independent regulator, the National Environment Appraisal and Monitoring Authority soon. This authority could lead to a complete change in the process of granting environmental clearances. Staffed by dedicated professionals, it will work on a full time basis to evolve better and more objective standards of scrutiny,” Singh said at a seminar on “Global Environment and Disaster Management: Law and Society” here.

The move to establish the authority appears to have come in the wake of stalling of several industrial and mining projects by the Environment Ministry, till recently led by Jairam Ramesh.
The prime minister hoped that in future there would not be much litigation in projects due to environmental issues. “I must also mention that but for the enduring wisdom of our judiciary, we would not have the bulk of what we proudly call ‘environmental jurisprudence’,” Singh said.

Singh maintained that in the 1990s, due to rapid industrialisation, brought about by economic liberalisation, there was a threat of depletion of natural resources. But the judiciary had ensured there was no compromise on this issue.

“Over all, a major challenge ahead is to put in place a legal and regulatory framework which is effective in protecting the environment but without bringing back the hated license permit raj of the pre-1991 period,” Singh said.

Singh also hailed the new “comprehensive law” which established a specialised tribunal for settlement of a “broad spectrum of environmental cases of civil nature.”

“We have joined a handful of forward looking countries to have such a dedicated mechanism. This tribunal has started functioning and I expect it will help to reduce the workload of our courts,” he said.

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