Centre seeks 6 months to set up green regulator

Centre seeks 6 months to set up green regulator

The Centre on Wednesday urged the Supreme Court to grant further six months for setting up a national regulator for granting environmental clearance and appraisal of different projects across the country saying that matter required “an in depth analysis by the new government”.

The NDA government filed an application in the apex court stating that it wanted time to examine the feasibility of setting up of a statutory regulator.

It said that the matter regarding setting up of a regulator/authority under Section 3(3) of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 has been discussed in the Cabinet on July 9, wherein it was decided to seek six months time from the court.

Earlier, the apex court had set April 30 deadline to set up the national regulator.
The court had told the government to comply with its 2011 Lafarge judgment in this regard.

In its fresh application, the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) said that the government has so far received comments from all central ministries except the Planning Commission. Six states and Union territories namely Haryana, Karnataka, Puducherry, Rajasthan, Tripura and West Bengal had also sent their comments on the subject.

 The government had earlier sought time till July 15 for bringing to the court’s notice about the status on the issue. It had then claimed the views of various ministries, dealing with as many as 39 sectors, had to be taken into account before taking a decision.

Even though the apex court had passed the order for appointing the national regulator in 2011, the Centre did not show due urgency. It had in fact maintained that only the government was empowered under the Forest (Conservation) Act to act as a regulator for enforcing green norms and imposing penalties on polluters.

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