Centre asks state green panels to speed up construction projects
The Environment Ministry is in receipt of information about delay in processing of cases at the level of SEIAA and SEAC.
New Delhi: Concerned over delay in approval of construction and building projects, the Union Environment Ministry has directed state-level green panels to seek all relevant information at one go to ensure speedy clearances.
In an official memorandum, the ministry said it has come to its notice that state-level panels -- SEIAA and SEAC -- seek piecemeal information and even some are not related to environmental concerns.
The State Level Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC) examines the Category B projects and make recommendations to State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) for green nod.
"The Ministry is in receipt of information about delay in processing of cases at the level of SEIAA and SEAC on account of (i) additional information sought on issues not directly related to environment and (ii) process adopted for listing such cases at the end of the queue after submission of information by the project proponents," the Environment Ministry said in its latest office memorandum.
To meet the stipulated timelines, avoid duplication of work and speed up the process of scrutiny, the Ministry said SEIAAs/SEACs should only focus on some key thrust areas of environmental sustainability while appraising the projects.
The SEIAAs/SEACs need not focus on other issues which are normally looked after by the local bodies concerned, state government departments and State Pollution Control Boards.
The state-level green panels have been asked to strictly adhere to the timelines stipulated in the 2006 EIA Notification while processing the proposals.
"SEAC will make appropriate recommendations within 60 days of the receipt of the complete proposal from the project proponents. SEIAA shall consider the recommendations of the SEAC and convey its decision to the applicant within 45 days of the receipt of the recommendations," it said.
The Union Environment Ministry will regularly review the progress in disposal of cases by SEIAAs with the view to ensuring meeting of these timelines.
In case additional information has been sought and the project proponent is not in a position to provide the same during the appraisal by SEAC and can provide it on the next date or any date during the meeting of SEAC, he can submit the requisite information and his case will be considered for appraisal accordingly, it added.
In case additional information sought cannot be presented by the project proponent during the same meeting days and the project proponent can provide the requisite information before the next meeting, the case will be taken up for consideration at the next SEAC meeting for appraisal, it said.