Published on 06/01/2015
The E.I.A. evaluation process as prescribed in the notification no.S.O.1533 of 14-9- 2006 issued by the MoEF Govt. of India, includes Public consultation as a stage to the appraisal procedures so that the concerns of local affected persons and others who have a plausible stake in the environmental impacts of the project or activity are taken into consideration before grant of Environmental Clearance.
The notification however has exempted from the public consultation process all projects or activities located within industrial areas or parks (item 7c of the schedule) approved by the concerned authorities (competent authorities which approve setting up of such parks) and which are not disallowed in such approvals.
The Ministry through O.M. No. J-11013/36/2014-IA-I dated 16-05-2014 had earlier stipulated that this exemption from the Public Consultation Process would be available for projects located in industrial areas which have obtained a prior environmental clearance under the EIA notification of 2006. It has now clarified through O.M. no. J-11013/36/2014-IA-I dated 10-12-2014 that, the exemption is available to the projects /activities /units located within the Industrial Area or Parks which were notified prior to 14-9-2006. The notification of 10-12-2014 is of the nature of a clarification over the earlier O.M. It fails to throw light on the current applicability of the O.M. dated 16-5-2014 which refers to Industrial Areas notified beyond 2006.It also fails to throw light on whether the exemption would only be available to the projects or activities located within the Industrial Area or Parks which were notified prior to 14-9-2006 or also be available to project/ activities proposed in Industrial Areas notified after 14-9-2006 which have obtained prior environmental clearance under the EIA notification of 2006. Under these circumstances project proponents may find it difficult to plan for public consultation.
This is to request you to kindly get the matter examined and prescribe the current updated procedure to facilitate developers and project proponents filing their applications.