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Green Norms Relaxed for Border Areas
Mar 02, 2015

To expedite construction of linear projects like highways in border states, the Environment Ministry has dropped the provision of public hearing before considering green clearances to such works. A notification in this regard has been issued after making necessary amendments to the Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006.

  • All linear projects such as highways, pipelines, etc. in border states are exempted from public consultation.

  • The Ministry also exempted from the requirement of going through a scoping stage of environment clearance process for new and expansion of border highway projects.

  • At scoping stage of environment clearance process, the expert team tries to estimate which sections of society, environment and economy would be affected and come up with a comprehensive Terms of Reference (TOR) addressing all relevant environmental concerns.

  • Some changes have been made to the environmental clearance process for highway and linear projects so that to fast track construction of such development projects in border states.

  • This is being done as the environmental impact or forest diversion required is much less for linear projects like constructing new roads, widening of existing highways, power transmission lines, water supply lines and optic fibre cabling, among others.

  • The process of public hearing was delaying environment and forest clearances. Many of the highway and road projects by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), Border Roads Organization and state agencies are stuck due to want of green clearances.

Also in August 2014 the government relaxed environmental norms for strengthening infrastructure in border areas by building roads and rail lines.


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