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Forest ministry puts infra projects in fast lane via e-clearances

Prakash Javdekar, who took charge as minister for environment and forests yesterday, said online system would aid speed and transparency

New Delhi: Prakash Javdekar, who took charge yesterday as the Minister of State (Independent) for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, promised to ensure “fast clearances” to infrastructure projects in a transparent manner and launched an online process for transparent environmental clearance.

Prakash Javdekar
Prakash Javdekar says the user-friendly application will ensure stage-wise approval of projects. Pic/PTI

Signaling that the Narendra Modi government is not interested in confrontation with industry on green issues, the minister launched a system for online submission of applications for environmental clearances. “We will give fast clearances by preserving (environment),” he said.



According to him, it will bring transparency and speed in the whole process before taking a final decision on granting green nod for developmental projects.

“It will ensure transparency in the application processes for environmental clearance and it would help online real-time monitoring and adherence to timelines for verification. It will also ensure stage-wise approval and compliance mechanism. It is a more user-friendly application process,” the minister said.

He further stated that under the new system, the applicant will have to register on the website, upon which he or she will be provided with a password.

“This will ensure security, while simultaneously maintaining transparency between the ministry and the applicant,” he said, adding that there’ll be a maximum time limit for the approval process, with stage-wise timelines.

He also said that continuous efforts shall be made to bring down the timelines for each stage.

Such online applications will soon be launched for forest clearances too, he said while assuring a “no tax” — a reference to questions over clearances and delays in Forest Ministry under the UPA rule.

“We believe that growth and environment protection are both possible. It is not environment versus growth. Both are possible,” Javdekar said, adding that “sustainable development becomes the catchword of our efforts.”

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