Vested with the Herculean task of fast-tracking decisions on scores of large projects, environment minister M Veerappa Moily has embarked on a drive to reassign jobs to the key officials in his ministry, reports Kirtika Suneja in
New Delhi. Moily has also reconstituted the various expert appraisal committees (EAC) of the ministry, besides shuffling the work allocated among officers.
According to official sources, in an order issued after he took charge on December 24, work allocation of at least six scientists was changed. A scientist who was earlier a part of the EAC for mining projects has been moved to the EAC on thermal power projects while another has been brought in from the ministry’s Lucknow office to monitor the impact of non-coal mining in the impact assessment division.
As part of the reshuffle, Saroj, who goes by one name and was part of the EAC on non-coal mining and thermal power projects is now handling only thermal power projects, while T Chandini, who was earlier looking after climate change and sustainable development, has now been given the charge of industries in the impact assessment (IA) division. VP Upadhyay, who had earlier been posted to Lucknow, has been brought back to Delhi and assigned the work of non-coal mining in the IA division. Similarly, Ranjini Warrier, who was in charge of bio-safety and the genetic engineering appraisal committee (GEAC), will also handle the follow-up of the Shah commission report on mining, says the office order of the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF).
“These changes happened so suddenly and we had no idea of our work allocation getting changed,” said an official whose portfolio was changed. In fact, the order came the very day Moily took charge and decided to exempt a slew of different types of industrial and mining projects from either providing environmental impact assessment reports or holding public hearings when they are approved
by the state government.
Similarly, KK Garg, director of the ministry’s regional office in Lucknow, who was posted to Delhi and was part of the EAC on industries, has now been posted back to Lucknow.