The ministry for environment, forests and climate change has issued an interesting press release from MoEF issued by PIB.
In this month’s IndiaWilds Newsletter Vol. 6 Issue V we had written about the need for transparency in the project clearance status in MoEF. You can check the newsletter here: http://www.indiawilds.com/diary/indi...vol-6-issue-v/
MoEFCC (is that the new acronym for Environment Forests and Climate change ministry?), well we will see what it is referred to officially.
The press release talks about transparency in the application processes, real-time online monitoring, stage wise approvals, user friendly process. That is what industry needs so that there is no perception that a minister demands money for clearing projects.
All we can say now is there appears to be good intent. How much of that gets translated into practice is yet to be seen. I prefer to live in hope.
Shri Prakash Javadekar Takes Charge as Environment Minister
Launches New System for Online Submission of Applications for Environmental Clearance
A new system for online submission of applications for environmental clearances has been launched here today by Shri Prakash Javadekar. While interacting with the media persons after taking charge as Minister of State (I/C) of Environment, Forest and Climate change, Shri Javadekar said that the new system will bring in the following benefits to the stakeholders:
1. Transparency in the application processes for environmental clearance
2. Online real-time monitoring and adherence to timelines for verification
3. Stage-wise approval and compliance mechanism
4. A more user-friendly application process
Shri Javadekar further stated that under the new system, the applicant will have to register on the website, upon which he/she shall be provided with a password. This shall ensure security, while simultaneously maintaining transparency between the Ministry and the applicant.
The Minister also said that there shall be a maximum time limit for the entire approval process, with stage-wise timelines. He also said that continuous efforts shall be made to bring down the timelines for each stage. Every state shall be taken along and that the aspirations and difficulties of state Governments will be duly considered; at the same time, active co-operation from them in nation building will be expected, the Minister added. Shri Javadekar said that this will be done without making any compromise whatsoever on the ongoing efforts to preserve the environment. He added that the application for forest clearances too shall be made online next month.
No contradiction between Growth and Environmental Protection
The Minister said that growth and environmental protection go hand in hand; both are possible and there is no contradiction between the two. He said both of these will be pursued together. He said that it is not a question of environment versus growth and that sustainable development has become the catchword.
Shri Javadekar said that the addition of the words “Climate Change” in the name of the Ministry is significant. He said that India should present its case in international forums very forcefully. He added that preparations are already underway for the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is expected to take place in December 2015, in Paris, France.
The Minister announced also that a half-day leadership motivation conference shall be held next week for the senior Officials of the Ministry in order to instill a change in mindset.
Earlier in the day, on assuming office, senior officials of the Ministry welcomed the Minister, after which the Minister reviewed the activities of the Ministry.