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Parivesh website shuts down project impact details, available on RTI

Parivesh website shuts down project impact details, available on RTI

The Indian government’s decision to stop providing project impact details on its Parivesh website has raised concerns among environmentalists and experts. The decision was announced by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), which said that it would only disclose information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. They cited confidentiality and sensitivity, as reasons.

Background

The Parivesh website was launched in 2016 to facilitate the online submission and monitoring of environmental clearance applications. The website intended to provide transparency and accountability in the environmental clearance process. It provided information on projects that required environmental clearance and their impact.

The decision to stop providing project impact details on the website has been met with criticism from environmentalists and experts. They believe that the decision will undermine the website’s objective. Moreover, it will make it difficult for them to access information and monitor the impact of projects on the environment.

Impact

According to media reports, over 1,000 projects have been rejected by the MoEFCC in the last three years. However, it is unclear how many of these projects were rejected on environmental grounds. The lack of information on the Parivesh website makes it difficult to assess the impact of these projects on the environment.

Environmentalists believe that the decision to stop providing project impact details on the website will make it easier for companies to bypass environmental regulations. They believe that this decision will make it easier for companies to get environmental clearance for their projects without proper scrutiny.

Experts Reaction

Several experts have criticized the decision to stop providing project impact details on the website. They believe that the decision undermines the government’s commitment to transparency and accountability. Furthermore, called on the government to reverse the decision and restore the project impact details on the website.

They have also called on the government to provide more information on the projects that have been rejected by the MoEFCC. They believe that this information is crucial for assessing the environmental impact of these projects and for holding the government accountable for its decisions.

Kanchi Kohli, an environmental researcher at the Centre for Policy Research, said,

“The move to keep such information out of the public domain, under the garb of confidentiality, is highly regressive and opaque. It also reduces the role of stakeholders in the decision-making process, which is unacceptable in a democracy.”

The National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), a network of grassroots organizations, issued a statement saying,

“This move is a clear attempt to undermine the environmental clearance process and weaken the rights of communities to participate in decision-making. It is a violation of the Constitution and the principles of democracy.”

Conclusion

The decision to stop providing project impact details on the Parivesh website is a setback for transparency and accountability in the environmental clearance process. It will make it difficult for environmentalists and experts to assess the impact of projects on the environment. Moreover, it will make it easier for companies to bypass environmental regulations. And, get clearance for their projects without proper scrutiny.

The government should reconsider its decision and restore the project impact details on the website. It should also provide more information on the projects that have been rejected by the MoEFCC. This information is crucial for assessing the environmental impact of these projects and for holding the government accountable for its decisions.

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