Hap­haz­ard clear­ances


This is with ref­er­ence to "Time for re­form" (June 1-15, 2014). En­vi­ron­men­tal ad­min­is­tra­tion in In­dia suf­fers from se­ri­ous weak­nesses in fram­ing of leg­is­la­tion and reg­u­la­tions. Some of the loop­holes in­clude am­bi­gu­ity, half­hearted en­force­ment, in­ad­e­quate staff, limited knowl­edge and skills of of­fi­cials, bureau­cratic red tapism in reg­u­la­tory bod­ies, po­lit­i­cal in­ter­ven­tion and so­cio-economic com­pul­sions in the face of for­mi­da­ble poverty and pop­u­la­tion. Since th­ese flaws gov­ern en­vi­ron­men­tal clear­ances, most of the de­ci­sions are er­ro­neous. They do not take into ac­count bio­di­ver­sity, dis­place­ment con­cerns or wel­fare of the peo­ple, par­tic­u­larly trib­als. Ex­am­ples in­clude Tata Nano and the Nandi­gram fi­asco in West Ben­gal and Posco steel and Niyam­giri baux­ite min­ing pro­jects in Odisha.

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