New Delhi: The ministry of environment and forests is looking at cutting down the time taken for processing applications for environment clearance for projects, minister of state for environment and forest Jairam Ramesh said on Monday.
Replying to questions in Rajya Sabha, he said 210 days are given to complete all formalities for environment clearance for projects.
Separately, 150 days are taken for giving forest clearance once projects have been cleared by state governments.
Ramesh said the 210 days deadline for environment clearance is extended in some projects involving wildlife sanctuary, environment fragile zone and complicated project requiring enough safeguards.
He said 700 environment clearances were pending when he took over in May-end. This has come down to 250, but taking into account new applications, a total of 500 projects were before his ministry awaiting environment clearance, he said.
Of the 210 days’ deadline, 60 days are for setting terms of reference for environment impact assessment, 45 days for public hearing, 60 days for environment impact appraisal and 45 days for communicating the decision, he said adding the 60 days taken by his ministry may be reduced to 45 days.