While insisting that the environment must be protected at all costs, environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan Sunday said "the past is over" and she will ensure speedy decisions on major projects like Posco and Vedanta.
In an interview to news channel CNN-IBN, Natarajan, who last week succeeded Jairam Ramesh as the environment minister, said there should be clarity on decisions taken on environmental projects and that once a clearance is given, it should not be changed or revoked.
"While I will insist that at all costs the environment must be protected in all its dimensions, the easy way to do it is to make sure that there is a speedy decision...and that I can do and will facilitate," she said while speaking on the ministry's stand on mega projects like Posco and Vedanta.
"There should be a one window clearance and there should be complete clarity. I will make sure that there will be no confusion and complete clarity but having said that, in the past perhaps there was something that came up later that necessitated a change. The past is over and I will ensure that complete clarity on these issues exists," she added.
After reports that a green signal had been given to the Vedanta project at Lanjigarh in Orissa for bauxite mining near the Niyamgiri reserve forest, the environment ministry under Ramesh had July 2 denied granting clearance to it.
Similarly South Korean steel major Posco's $12 billion steel project in Orissa was given conditional clearance by the environment ministry last May after taking a tough stand.