Single-window for green nod likely by year-end

Updated on Sep 25, 2022 06:35 AM IST

Pro-Active and Responsive facilitation by Interactive and Virtuous Environment Single-window Hub or Parivesh is a single window system for environment, forest, wildlife and coastal regulation zone clearances.

The Union environment ministry will launch a single-window system for environment, forest, wildlife and CRZ clearances (ANI)
The Union environment ministry will launch a single-window system for environment, forest, wildlife and CRZ clearances (ANI)
ByJayashree Nandi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Union environment ministry will launch a single-window system for environment, forest, wildlife and coastal regulation zone clearances by the end of the year with an aim to reduce the time taken to process green nod for various infrastructure projects, it said in a statement on Saturday.

Pro-Active and Responsive facilitation by Interactive and Virtuous Environment Single-window Hub or Parivesh is a single window system for environment, forest, wildlife and coastal regulation zone clearances.

The government now intends to unveil Parivesh 2.0 by the end of the year.

During the National Conference of ministers of environment, forest and climate change held in Ekta Nagar, Gujarat on Saturday, the ministry briefed state environment ministers about the new Parivesh system, which is being updated.

“Covid 19 pandemic prompted our society to seek more technology-driven solutions to reduce physical touchpoints for obtaining services. A need was felt to enhance users’ experience on Parivesh leveraging emerging technologies for faster Green Clearances,” said the statement.

When asked how Parivesh 2.0 will be more effective than the present system of environmental clearances, a senior official in the environment ministry said there will be a reduction in turnaround time by ensuring a project steering committee consisting of state and central officials assess the project at the same time. “This would reduce multiple query iterations, enhance the transparency and reduce the time taken,” he said. Powers have been delegated to the Regional Offices (IRO) of the Ministry to handle the cases with less than 40 Ha and also the cases of over 40 Ha for Hydel, and mining sector proposals. These cases were dealt with by the Central government earlier. This should also reduce the time taken to process the clearances.

“Provision has been made for every state to create a land bank in advance so that as soon as the proposals come to the state they can take immediate actions for required compensatory afforestation. Also, earlier, there was no mechanism for swapping private land with forest land proposed to be diverted instead of the compensatory afforestation. This provision enables that a plantation carried out by any individual or institution in an area of 10 ha which is over 5 years old and has 0.4 density can be swapped for meeting the obligation of compensatory afforestation which is an excellent reformative provision,” the official said. Every time forest land is diverted for non-forest purposes such as mining or industry, the project developer has to compensate for the loss by paying for planting trees over an equal area of non-forest land, or when such land is not available, twice the area of degraded forest land.

More than 6000 proposals for environmental clearance and 6500 applications for forest clearance are presently pending with the states.

“Efforts should be made by the states to clear every proper proposal soon. You can guess that due to this pendency, projects worth thousands of crores of rupees will be stuck,” PM Modi had said on Friday during the inauguration of the conference.

HT reported on Wednesday that the environment ministry has started overhauling the process of considering and granting forest clearance, to make the process consistent with Forest Conservation Rules 2022 and to issue clearances for forest diversion to various infrastructure or mining projects in a time-bound manner.

“There is a legal issue with the implementation of the new rules. The forest conservation rules 2022 were tabled in Parliament during the last session and two statutory motions were made for annulment of the rules. Implementing the rules can now be a breach of the parliamentary process. This will misguide the states also and lead to violation of the forest rights act. The FC Rules 2022 are still under consideration by the legislature,” said Tushar Dash, Odisha-based independent researcher on Forest Rights Act 2006.

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