A formality called EIA

Environment ministry invites comments to amendment that dilutes environmental clearance

THE latest amendment to the environment impact assessment (eia) notification that is supposed to expedite environmental clearance for development projects, is now open for public comment. The eia notification, 1994, mandated environmental clearance for all infrastructure and development activities but the new amendment proposes waiving such clearance for some.
The union environment ministry justified the amendment saying it would streamline processes and clear the backlog of projects awaiting approval. The amendment waives eia for projects that increase capacity or modernize infrastructure without increasing pollution load and do not require additional land or water. Self-certification is enough to get a waiver. Environmentalist P R Arun of non-proft Green Alternatives said it is a move to dilute the law and help the industry.
As per the amendment, consulting the public will not be required for certain township projects that decide to expand after obtaining clearance