Even as the government is yet to accept the recommendations of the TSR Subramanian committee report on five environment laws, a group of civil society organisations told a parliamentary standing committee on Friday that the report should be “junked”.
The committee on environment and science and technology on Friday started consultation on Subramanian committee recommendations with the panel chairman Ashwini Kumar explaining that it was within the ambit of the committee to reconsider recommendations made to the government.
“There has been a lot of debate in the media over Subramanian committee recommendations diluting the environmental regime. We wanted that the MPs should be apprised of the report,” Kumar explained after the meeting of the committee with eight civil society organizations including Centre for Science and Environment, The Energy and Resources Institute and WWF-India.
“The Subramanian committee recommendations should be junked,” Ritwik Dutta, an environmental lawyer told the committee. He also pointed that the committee wanted to curb powers of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) the powerful quasi-judicial body that hears cases related to environmental regulation.
Another civil society member said there was unanimity that the committee recommendations, if accepted by the government, will destroy environmental regulation and forest cover in the country. They accused the committee of disguising its pro-business approach by recommending introduction of a diluted no-go zone for projects in forest having 70% canopy.
The standing committee will seek the ministry’s comments in its next meeting.