NHAI to move apex court over MoEF lethargy
Delays in environmental approvals — usually attributed to the existing policy of linking the same to forest clearances — and procedural issues have affected implementation of national highway projects worth R23,000 crore. This is at a time the Prime Minister’s Office and finance ministry are asking all wings of the government to make concerted efforts to speed up infrastructure projects to accelerate economic growth.
Allowing French cement major Lafarge to mine limestone in the forests of Meghalaya’s East Khasi hills, the court had in a July 2011 judgement asked the government to set up a national environment regulator and said till this was done, an interim arrangement would be put in place by the MoEF in consultation with states. The idea was to lay down comprehensive guidelines for forest clearances. However, the MoEF hasn’t fully complied with the court order as yet, sources in the NHAI, alleged, adding the MoEF was reminded of the issue several times in recent months.
In a meeting between the ministry of finance, the ministry of road transport and highways, the NHAI and the
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