Friday, May 30, 2014

Downgrading of environment

Let me come clean, as suits a short post on the environment. I read an article [1] and felt that the government’s concerns regarding the environment are being whittled down. First, it is the fact that the Ministry of Environment & Forest will be handled by a Minister of State (Independent Charge), Mr.Prakash Javadekar.
Let me be honest here. I really do not know, functionally speaking, how far down a ministry is being demoted by being headed by a Minster of State rather than a full-fledged Cabinet Minister. Yet, I am sure it at least a few rungs down.
As per the report in the paper, the minister will try to “…bring down the maximum time for clearances to 60 days eventually.”
To be honest, I do not know whether these were the minister’s words or the way the reporter understood what the minister said. Either way, please focus on the sentence. It does not say the decision regarding environmental clearance will be taken within 60 days. It is simply that clearances will be given in 60 days. That is, the pre-ordained decision – clearance – will be formalized in 60 days. This too is a few steps down the ladder as regards environmental considerations.
Taking both the points together, I feel justified in concluding that environmental concerns are being downgraded.
Raghuram Ekambaram

1.    Application for green nod to go online: Javadekar, The Business Line, May 29, 2014

No comments: