India’s Statutory Auditor Finds Lapses In Environmental Clearance For Coastal Tasks

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The Comptroller and Auditor Common of India has discovered inadequacies within the atmosphere affect evaluation reviews which can be used as the premise for granting clearance to initiatives in coastal areas.

It was noticed that in a number of instances between 2015 and 2020 the Ministry of Surroundings, Forests & Local weather Change gave challenge approvals even when their EIA reviews didn’t comprehensively tackle the ecological issues.

Out of 43 sampled challenge approvals, the CAG discovered 14 the place research even did not establish the important thing biodiversity within the challenge are and didn’t current any mitigation measures to alleviate the dangers confronted by the natural world.

“Mitigation plans to deal with the dangers to atmosphere posed by these initiatives weren’t ample because the dangers have been solely cursorily addressed in lots of initiatives,” it stated.

16 of those challenge approvals have been additionally given with none catastrophe administration plan in place, that is among the key conditions.

In addition to, the audit additionally reveals that a number of of those EIA reviews are being ready by consultants with out accreditation as is required by regulation. In 21 instances, the EIA marketing consultant was both non-accredited, or not accredited for the sector particular to the challenge.

One other 12 challenge approvals have been discovered to have been given the place the EIA reviews made use of outdated baseline information. One of many outstanding instances is Mumbai’s coastal highway challenge that can join Princess Flyover with Worli. The challenge’s EIA, carried out in 2016, justified the development of the highway based mostly on visitors research which have been carried out in 2008.

The atmosphere ministry gave its clearance in 2018 with out updating the baseline information or taking into consideration the most important infrastructure improvement close to the challenge, the CAG stated.

Even the committees that granted clearances to those initiatives, CAG discovered, didn’t have any area consultants in a number of cases. There have been instances famous when lower than half of the entire energy of the EAC have been current for deliberations.

CAG’s report focusses on challenge clearances that fall underneath the coastal regulation zone norms. The norms have been notified in 2019, underneath the Surroundings Safety Act, 1986, to guard the atmosphere of coastal stretches and marine areas.





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