Only 9 pollution control bodies share details of public hearings online: CSE transparency index – Down To Earth Magazine

Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Nagaland, Andaman & Nicobar, Puducherry, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu and Uttar Pradesh share no detail of public hearings

Pollution control bodies of most Indian states shared no or partial information on public hearings of development projects online, a new study found.
There are 34 state pollution control boards (SPCB) and pollution control committees (PCC) in the country that make pollution information public on websites. Of them, those in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Nagaland, Andaman & Nicobar, Puducherry, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu and Uttar Pradesh did not share any detail of public hearings, according to the report.
The study was conducted the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a Delhi-based non-profit that ranked all the state pollution control panels based on transparency in several parameters.
Websites of sixteen SPCBs and PCCs provided incomplete information. Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand provided executive summaries and minutes of meetings, but not the draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports, the paper mentioned.
Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Sikkim shared executive summaries and draft EIA reports, but not minutes of public hearings, according to the report.
Himachal Pradesh shared minutes of meeting and draft EIA report but didn’t specify the date of the next public hearing.
Haryana, Jharkhand and Tripura shared meeting minutes only of projects for which public hearings are over. Assam pollution control board has shared just the list of public hearings conducted and no other detail on their website, the researchers wrote in the report.
Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli have a common pollution control body and the one in Lakshadweep does not have a website.
Only Karnataka, Telangana, Delhi, Gujarat, Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan, Goa and Mizoram have put out all the necessary information on public hearings on their websites.
How transparent are pollution control bodies (public hearings)


Nivit Kr Yadav, programme director of the industrial pollution team of CSE, said:
It is perplexing that only nine boards have given detailed information, considering it is their job to conduct a public hearing and put up all the relevant information on their website. Their website is the best medium to source information.
Public hearing is a mandatory step in the process of getting an environmental clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for projects under Category ‘A’ in the Schedule.
Projects that fall under Category B are cleared by the state government or the state-level environment impact assessment authority.
The interaction between locals and government officials as well as proponents of upcoming project brings transparency in the environmental clearance system, according to environmental experts.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.
Down To Earth is a product of our commitment to make changes in the way we manage our environment, protect health and secure livelihoods and economic security for all. We believe strongly that we can and must do things differently. Our aim is to bring you news, perspectives and knowledge to prepare you to change the world. We believe information is a powerful driver for the new tomorrow.
© Copyright Down To Earth 2021. All rights reserved.

source

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *