High-level committee (HLC) headed by former Cabinet Secretary T S R Subramanium was in news in first week of January 2015. The four member high-level committee (HLC) was appointed by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and Climate Change (CC) to review environmental laws.
In its recommendation, the committee suggested single window clearance mechanism for green nods.
The committee submitted its reports with recommendations after studying six environment laws. Some recommendations include
• To evaluate project clearance in a time bound manner, it has asked for setting a full-time expert body, National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) at the Centre and State Environmental Management Authority (SEMA), which will be the pivotal authorities to process applications for green clearance. Existing Central Pollution Control Board and corresponding State agencies will be subsumed under these agencies
• To benefit community at large as well as power and mining projects and projects of national importance, it had recommended fast tracking procedure for linear projects
• Use of national GIS enabled environmental information data base which would assist both the project proponent and the scrutinising agency in obtaining authentic data vital for decision making on an application.
These recommendations were suggested after the committee observed that the corporate seek short cuts to get clearance for their environment projects.