the ministry of environment and forests seems to be keen on acquiring a people-friendly image. It has decided to make public all conditionalities laid down while granting environmental clearance to new industries. The decision comes on the heels of a recent notification by the ministry which makes it mandatory for chemical industries to disclose all information regarding risks associated with their operations ( Down To Earth , Vol 5, No 9). While announcing the decision recently, the environment secretary T K A Nair said, "Public distribution of the conditionalities would perhaps be handled through the environmental information system of the ministry." This will go a long way in bringing about "transparency and public awareness", he added.
As per the decision, the ministry will send copies of the conditionalities to the state environment secretaries and state pollution control board chief as well as disclose them to the public.
To ensure the compliance of these directions the ministry is exploring the role of financial institutions to see that the stipulations prescribed by the ministry are considered while financing the units.