The Union Environment Ministry on Monday announced its highest rise in five years as the number of environment, forest, wildlife and coastal zone regulation clearances grew 21 times over the years from 577 in 2018 to 12,496 in 2022.
The clearances came in through the ‘Parivesh portal’ and were notified in the Lok Sabha.
Commenting on the matter, environment minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey said, "we planned several policy and technological interventions to remove the redundancy and streamline the clearance process under environmental safeguards as a ministry."
He highlighted the reduction in approvals at the central level from more than 150 days in 2019 to less than 70 days in 2022.
Choubey said, “All processed proposals for environmental clearance are granted on the basis of Environment Impact Assessment or Environment Management Plan, examined under the duly constituted Expert Appraisal Committees (EACs)”.
He stressed that the final approvals are given and incorporated only after specific conditions to ensure compliance with environmental standards and safeguards.
He emphasised on the single-window system which allows easy business and said the existing Parivesh portal launched almost five years back has met its objectives, facilitating uninterrupted services to the industries even during the period of Covid.
According to reports, the central government is set to use a geographic informative system to fasten environmental clearances for infrastructure projects, a recently launched Parivesh 2.0,
Technology will reduce the approval period, a 30 per cent reduction in the proposal’s clearance, Choubey said.
Legal researcher at the Centre for Policy Research, a think tank Kanchi Kohli underlined the importance of bringing efficiency and professionalism to the environmental regulatory system.
He said the decision-making process should not take long as the outcomes have a direct impact on socioeconomic relationships and ecological networks, as the system strengthens regulatory practice and institutional frameworks.