Entrepreners will now have to submit to the ministry for environment and forests detailed project and environemental impact assessment reports and environmental management plans for any new industrial project, expansion or modification.
According to a notification presented in Parliament, the reports will be evaluated and assessed by the Impact Assessment Agency (IAA) of the ministry, in sonsulation with an expert committee, which will include representatives of NGOs and persons concerned with environmental issues. Significantly, the IAA's recommendations will be made available to the concerned parties or environmental groups on request and the comments of the public may also be solicited in public hearings.
However, some lawyers are not impressed. Says Delhi environmental lawyer M C Mehta, "The ruling stick is still in the hands of the ministry. What happens if government officials favour industrialists in case of a dispute?"
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