It will be easy to get permission for projects but tough in case of violations under environment laws and views of state governments on the High-Level Committee recommendations on the issue will be considered, Union Environment and Forests Minister Prakash Javadekar has said.
“Increasing the penalties, strengthening the compliance mechanism will be making life easy to get permission but tough in case of violations,” he told PTI in Kochi on Saturday.
He was replying to a query on the status of the High-Level Committee (HLC) recommendations and the Government’s move to amend five key environmental laws based on it.
Vowing to strengthen the compliance mechanism envisaged in various environment and forest laws, he said, “we want to strengthen enforcement and compliance mechanism. That is the central idea, compliance was the casualty in earlier mechanism.”
Javadekar was in Kochi to launch the Union government’s Free Pension scheme.
The HLC headed by former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramanian reviewed environmental laws and has given its recommendations to the Centre.
The Committee’s Terms of Reference include assessment of the status of implementation of laws including Environment (Protection) Act, Indian Forests Act, Forest (Conservation) Act, Wildlife (Protection) Act vis-à-vis the objectives.
Earlier, he said in Chennai that many state governments had given their comments on the recommendations of the HLC and all such inputs would be considered together by the Centre.
“These are recommendations…many state governments have also given their comments and now, by May we have received practically many recommendations and now we will consider all recommendations together,” he said.
“HLC is one major input, it is one input, it is not the accepted recommendations,” he said when asked what were the major recommendations that have been accepted by the Centre.
It has given 55 recommendations including those related to proposals to revamp project clearance and approval process.
In a meeting with top Tamil Nadu forest officials, he said the State could peruse concepts like “memorial garden” to encourage people’s participation under the Centre’s urban green campaign.
“People can be encouraged to adopt trees by paying Rs 1,000 or Rs 2,000 per tree in memory of their beloved ones. Memorial gardens may be set as part of urban greenery efforts,” he said.
As part of the urban green initiative, some of the proposed gardens may be sponsored by corporates as well, he added.