Javadekar promises stronger compliance, faster online eco clearances

The newly-appointed minister for environment and forests Prakash Javadekar who took charge of office today, promised stronger compliance of environmental norms and a more efficient and time-bound clearance of projects.

The minister also announced the introduction of new online forms for submission of applications for project clearances that would ensure proper communication between applicant and the ministry.

The ministry of 'environment and forests' is now ministry of 'environment, forests and climate change', signalling the importance the government pays to environment and climate change.

Javadekar's past association with GLOBE India (Global Legislators' Organisation for Balanced Environment) makes him a better candidate for the post at a time when India is expected to play a key role in reaching a global climate deal in Paris next year.

GLOBE India, a part of GLOBE International, a cross-party group of legislators, working to play critical role in guiding public policy on environment and develop laws on climate change.

Javadekar will be meeting 100 director-level officials today to review the progress of environment clearances and general operations.

He will also hold a leadership development conference for officials next week.

Javadekar is expected to bring in second-generation reforms which may take care of environment without compromising on economic development and rights of local communities.

The ministry is also expected to come out with an institutional set-up - national environment regulator - to streamline regulatory procedures as desired by the Supreme Court.

At present, green issues are being handled by a number of authorities at the centre and state levels, which are separately responsible for various types of clearances - be it environmental, forest, wildlife, coastal and air\water pollution.