‘Environment clearance not applicable for 3 linear projects’

Panaji, Jan 28 (FN Agency) Goa Environment Minister Nilesh Cabral has said that environment clearances are not applicable for four-laning of National Highway 4 A, double tracking of the railway line and laying of a 400 KV transmission line.

In a written reply in response to a question asked by independent MLA Rohan Khaunte, Mr Cabral said,’’ Environmental clearances are not applicable for the mentioned three projects in Goa as per the project specifications.’’ He said on approval of the project by Goa State Board for Wildlife on December 2, 2019, it was forwarded for the Wildlife Clearance and the same was approved vide meetings held on December 17, 2019, and April 4, 2020, by the National Board of Wildlife and Union Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change. The minister accepted that large number of representations were received from Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, Central Empowered Committee, State Minister for environment and other relating to the projects. He said as the above projects were proposed and admitted by following all rules and guidelines of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, and Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, no action was required to be taken. He also said that there was no provision to assess cumulative impact of the projects, as they were independent in nature and proposed by different User agencies at different time intervals.

In response to another question asked by Mr Khaunte, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, who also holds Forest portfolio, said the complete procedure as prescribed by the MoEF&CC was followed while processing for obtaining the forest clearance and wildlife clearance for the three projects.