The Supreme Court on Tuesday said a staggering Rs 90,000 crore of environment restoration funds was lying with the Centre and states, and expressed concern that this was being misused.
The court asked the Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to file an affidavit giving details of the total funds lying with Centre and states under the head Compensatory Afforestation Funds Management and Planning Authority as on March 31, 2018. The court also sought suggestions from the secretary on what purposes it should and should not be spend.
The question of use of these funds came up when the court was considering affidavits filed by Odisha and Meghalaya governments. It noted the Odisha affidavit showed funds were being spent on projects like building roads and school infrastructure. It is hearing a PIL filed in 1985 by environmentalist M C Mehta.