Environmental clearances being accorded in 75 days a matter of pride: Minister

Appraisal process is completely transparent and available in the public domain, says Minister Yadav

Published - June 23, 2023 04:10 am IST - NEW DELHI

The average time to accord environmental clearances to industrial projects had come down to below 75 days and this was a “matter of pride,” said Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav at a press conference on Thursday to recount the achievements of his Ministry since 2014.

“Every project that comes up is analysed for its potential environmental impact and appraised accordingly. That there is industrial development is a matter of pride and the appraisal process is completely transparent and available in the public domain,” said Minister Yadav. In 2014, such a clearance took close to 600 days and this too was a “subjective” process, he added.

In response to questions on whether the Kuno National Park, Madhya Pradesh, had enough prey to sustain the existing cheetah population as well as newer batches expected from Africa later this year, Minister Yadav said that currently there was enough prey. “Project Cheetah envisages cheetahs coming in for the next five years. The prey base is sufficient as of now and we are regularly consulting with experts in Namibia and South Africa. We cannot immediately release all animals into the wild and it will take nearly a year for the population to be stable… The forest officials on the ground there are extremely dedicated,” he said, adding, “We have the Gandhisagar forest reserve in Madhya Pradesh too and can shift animals there if needed, but right now no such plan is being considered.”

Of the 20 cheetahs from Africa, 17 have so far survived with nine animals reportedly in the wild and out of the large enclosures that have been used to help the cats acclimatise to Indian conditions.

He added that India’s wildlife has seen a rise in numbers validated by species-specific surveys. He said there has been a substantial rise in the numbers of tigers, Asiatic lion and Asiatic elephants as a result of focused conservation approach.

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