Environment watchdog rejects finance ministry's claim

Environment watchdog rejects finance ministry's claim

An environment watchdog Saturday here rebutted the union ministry of finance's claim that infrastructure projects get delayed due to the green clearance which is granted by the environment ministry.

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) also opposed the proposal to set up a National Investment Board (NIB), which will dismantle the regulatory systems for green clearances.

Referring to data, Sunita Narain, director general, CSE said: "The analysis of this data clearly shows that the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) has not been an impediment to infrastructure development."

"Instead, it has granted massive numbers of clearances, which are today jeopardizing environmental security. This is also making a complete mockery of our regulatory systems. Why, therefore, do we need the NIB?" she questioned.

"In the 11th Five Year Plan (FYP) period, 8,734 projects were granted forest clearance and 1.98 lakh hectares of forest land was diverted," said an assessment by CSE.
"This diversion is about 25 per cent of all forest land diverted for development projects since 1981. The pace of forest land diversion, therefore, has doubled during 11th FYP," a statement said.