Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday called on Union minister for environment and forests Prakash Javadekar and demanded that the process for green clearance to 62 mining projects in state be expedited.
In a statement issued here, Badal said that of the 89 projects submitted till date, environmental clearances of only 27 quarries has been granted.
"As 45 mines have been allotted to the executive director of Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC), the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) is requested to transfer the environmental clearances in the name of the PSIEC executive director," he added.
Badal also sought upward revision in water cess to strengthen the financial position of the state pollution control boards. Underlining that the rates had not been revised since May 2003, the CM said proceeds from the cess were to be first credited to the Consolidated Fund of India, of which 80% were reimbursed to the respective state boards for utilisation in various activities. "This reimbursement takes a long time.... The boards may be allowed to retain 80% of the cess share and the remaining 20% should be sent to the MoEF," he demanded.
Referring to the cleaning of the Buddah Nullah, Badal told Javadekar that a bio-remediation project was sanctioned by the MoEF in April 2012 at a cost of `15.28 crore for construction of five green bridges, adding that under this project three green bridges had been completed and remaining two would be completed by the coming March 15. He urged the minister to construct five more green bridges under the project.