New Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar today promised to ensure "fast clearances" to infrastructure projects in a transparent manner and launched a process for transparent environmental clearance.
After assuming charge as Minister of State (Independent) for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, he also said that he would take effective measures to conserve ecology.
Signaling that the Narendra Modi government is not interested in confrontation with industry on green issues, the minister launched a system for online submission of applications for environmental clearances.
"We will give fast clearances by preserving (environment)," he said.
According to him, it will bring transparency and speed in the whole process before taking a final decision on granting green nod for developmental projects.
"It will ensure transparency in the application processes for environmental clearance and it would help online real-time monitoring and adherence to timelines for verification. It will also ensure stage-wise approval and compliance mechanism.
It is a more user-friendly application process," the minister said.
Javadekar further stated that under the new system, the applicant will have to register on the website, upon which he or she will be provided with a password.
"This will ensure security, while simultaneously maintaining transparency between the Ministry and the applicant," he said.
The minister also said that there shall be a maximum time limit for the entire approval process, with stage-wise timelines. He also said that continuous efforts shall be made to bring down the timelines for each stage.
Such online applications will soon be launched for forest clearances too, he said while assuring a "no tax" – a reference to questions over clearances and delays in Forest Ministry under the UPA rule.
"We believe that growth and environment protection are both possible. It is not environment versus growth. Both are possible," Javadekar said, adding that "sustainable development becomes the catchword of our efforts."
Javadekar, who held a review meeting with around 100 officials in the ministry, said a half-day leadership motivation conference will be organised for the senior officials in order to instill a change in mindset.
"Eminent persons from outside" will give them lessons."Because I believe that by changing one minister you can't change everything. It has to come from within," he said.
"We used to hear various kinds of stories about this ministry but now you will hear good news... because good days have come," he said.
Javadekar said growth and environmental protection go hand in hand.
Both are possible and