In an order issued on Thursday, the Environment Ministry said it would give environment approval for infrastructure projects in two to three years .
Hindustan Times had reported on Thursday that three Cabinet ministers had blamed the environment ministry for delays in approving infrastructure projects. This had prompted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ask the Planning Commission for suggestions to fast track clearances.
Environment and Forest minister Jairam Ramesh refused to comment on the PM’s decision. His ministry, however, issued an order stating that from April 1, terms of reference for giving environment clearance would be valid for two years and three years in exceptional cases.
Projects spread in area of more than 50,000 sq m require the ministry’s approval. Till now, there was no time limit fixed to complete this process.