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Govt to allow online submission of environment clearance applications

LiveMint logoLiveMint 29-05-2014 Neha Sethi

New Delhi: The environment ministry will allow online submission of applications for environmental clearances, making it easier for companies to seek approvals.

“This will ensure that there are timelines, transparency in application process, and real time monitoring of stage-wise clearance,” environment minister Prakash Javadekar, who took charge on Thursday, said.

The ministry will start the same process for forest clearances next month, Javadekar said.

During the tenure of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), the ministry was criticized for delaying approvals and failing to adhere to timelines.

An applicant or project proponent will now be able to monitor stage-wise process of their application. “After basic verification, a password will be generated the applicant can check the progress online,” the minister said. “It will be between the ministry and the party concerned.”

The ministry will work with states to ensure even their process is completed on time, said Javadekar, adding that his ministry will try to grant an environmental clearance within a maximum of 60 days.

There were some steps in the process which were dependent on the applicant such as the environment impact assessment, a top official said, requesting anonymity.

The addition of climate change in the ministry’s name was crucial as it was important for India to present its case forcefully at the global level, Javadekar said. “We have already started working on a plan for the next big climate change conference in 2015.”

There was no conflict between growth and environment protection, he claimed. “Both are possible and, therefore, sustainable development becomes the catch word,” the minister said.

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