The Centre, in its modified notification on the environment impact assessment (EIA), mentioned that the construction on areas between 20,000 and 50,000 sq m will not require environment clearance anymore.
The notification was issued by the Ministry of Environment. The notification states that it has decided to re-engineer EIA rules based on amendments and the experience over the years in its implementation. As the principal notification has undergone substantial changes over the years, the ministry has decided to re-engineer the entire notification in line with the amendments issued and circulars issued from time to time and experience gained over the years in implementation of the EIA notification, it further added.
As per the new notification, the process of clearances granted for sand mining and construction activities have been eased out. It is reportedly a decision that has not gone down well with environmental activists who claim that the EIA notification compromises public hearings.
The issues draft allows district-level authorities, headed by the district magistrate, to seek exemption from public hearing while granting green clearance for sand mining in areas up to five hectare of land.