‘Evolve robust mechanism to check green clearance’

Lack of data on compliance shocking: NGT

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Union Environment Ministry and the Central Pollution Control Board to convene a meeting to evolve a “robust mechanism” for effective monitoring of compliance of conditions imposed on environmental clearances granted for various projects.

While noting that “no satisfactory mechanism exists at present,” a Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said, “There has to be speedy monitoring and speedy action wherever necessary. There has to be a robust plan for the purpose which is the responsibility of the government departments concerned. We place on record our disapproval for the present sorry state-of-affairs and expect meaningful improvement.”

Following submissions made by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, the Bench observed that the lack of data on compliance “is shocking.”

“With a view to plan such monitoring, the percentage of compliance must be ascertained. Trend over a period of time in terms of increase in compliance or otherwise must be studied so that there can be corresponding review of mechanism based on correct data,” the Bench said.

Stating that there is a “dire need for revamping the monitoring mechanism,” the Bench added, “There is need to prioritise the projects where potential environmental degradation is high on account of nature of activity as well as area being ecologically sensitive. In respect of such projects and in such areas, monitoring may have to be more intensive and at higher frequency.”

The tribunal also said that the frequency of post environmental clearance monitoring should be on a quarterly basis and no less than twice a year, while adding that the “present scenario of monitoring once in 4.5 years is a farce.”

The directions came when the green panel was hearing a plea moved by petitioner Sandeep Mittal seeking stricter mechanisms to ensure compliance of conditions mentioned in environmental clearances granted for projects.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 9:24:22 AM |

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