Skip to main content

MoEFCC "violates" Supreme Court order on online complaint monitor, sets up industry-facilitating portal instead

By Rohit Prajapati*
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has "proudly" announced it's new endeavour with yet another acronym PARIVESH. It is a web-based, role-based workflow application developed for submission and monitoring of the proposals submitted by the proponents for seeking environment, forest, wildlife and coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) clearances from Central, state and district-level authorities.
It claims to automate the entire tracking of proposals, which includes online submission of a new proposal, editing/updating the details of proposals and displays status of the proposals at each stage of the workflow. The process reveals the worst kept secret of the MoEFCC. To quote minister of environment Dr Harsh Vardhan, with PARIVESH, MoEFCC has "become more of a facilitator, than a regulator."
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched PARIVRSH launched as single-window integrated system... for complete online, expeditious and transparent system for environment, forest, wildlife and CRZ clearances at Central and state level", Dr Vardhan said in a communique, adding, "It will lead to better compliance and sustainable development", asking those concerned to visit it's site https://parivesh.nic.in.
MoEFCC's mandated concern should be for environment, forests, and climate, as mentioned in the name of the ministry, but the recent announcement makes it clear that the ministry is working for ease of business for industries, instead of protecting environment.
Quite on the lines of PARIVESH, MoEFCC could instead have an online tracking and status of complaints for the violation of terms and conditions of environment clearances, environment laws, about air, water, and soil pollution.
Generally, when people affected by pollution file complains, they get poor or no reply from the MoEFCC and State Pollution Control Boards, and they are not in position to locate status of their complaints.
Even in our Public Interest litigation (PIL) Writ Petition No. 375 of 2012, Supreme court Order dated February 22, 2016 clearly states:
"It would be in the interest of implementation of the objective sought to be achieved, to also require each concerned state (and each concerned Union territory) to make provision for 'online, real time, continuous monitoring system' to display emission levels, in the public domain, on the portal of the concerned State Pollution Control Board... Such measures shall be put in place by all the concerned state governments (including, concerned Union territories), within six months from today." 
This deadline was over on August 22, 2017, but no action has been taken by MoEFCC.
This has once again exposed the misplaced concerns and intentions of MoEFCC that favours industries over nature.
---
Environment activist, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Vadodara

Comments

TRENDING

132 Gujarat citizens, including IIM-A faculty, others declare solidarity with Kashmiris

Counterview Desk
A week after it was floated, 132 activists, academics, students, artists and other concerned citizens of Gujarat, backed by 118 living in different parts of India and the world, have signed a "solidarity letter" supporting the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), who, it claims, have been silenced and held captive in their own land. The signatories include faculty members and scholars of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A).

Bharat Ratna nominee ‘joined hands’ with British masters to 'crush' Quit India

By Shamsul Islam*
The Quit India Movement (QIM), also known as ‘August Kranti' (August Revolution), was a nation-wide Civil Disobedience Movement for which a call was given on August 7, 1942 by the Bombay session of the All-India Congress Committee. It was to begin on August 9 as per Gandhi's call to 'Do or Die' in his Quit India speech delivered in Bombay at the Gowalia Tank Maidan on August 8. Since then August 9 is celebrated as August Kranti Divas.

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…

Cess for Gujarat construction workers: Spending less than 10%; no 'direct help' to beneficiaries

By Our Representative
While the Gujarat government’s Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, set up in 2004, as of March 31, 2019, has collected a total cess of Rs 2,097.62 crore from the the builders, it has spent less than 10% -- Rs 197.17 crore. And, as on May 31, 2019, the total cess collection has reached Rs 2,583.16 crore, said a statement issued by Bandhkam Majur Sagathan general secretary Vipul Pandya.
Pointing out that just about 6.5 lakh out of 20 lakh workers have been registered under the board, Pandya said, vis-à-vis other states, Gujarat ranks No 13th in the amount spent on the welfare of the construction workers, while 11th in the amount collected.
And while the builders are obliged to pay just about 1% of the total cost of their project, the calculation of the cess is flawed: It is Rs 3,000 per square yard; accordingly, Rs 30 per square yard is collected. “Had the cess been collected on the real construction cost, it would have been at least Rs 7,000 cr…