Govt sets up panel to review environment laws

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Government today constituted a high-level committee to review various environment laws in order to bring them in line with "current requirements".

The committee has been set up in the backdrop of government taking serious measures to fasten the environment clearance process for achieving economic growth without compromising green issues.

The four-member panel, headed by former Cabinet Secretary T S R Subramanian, has been asked to review five key green laws concerning protection and conservation of environment, forest, wildlife, water and air among others.

The Environment Ministry has asked the panel to submit its report in two months.

"Based on experience gained in the implementation of aforesaid Acts, it has been decided to constitute a high-level committee to review these Acts and suggest appropriate amendments to bring them in line with their objectives," said a Ministry order.

The panel will review the important green laws enacted between 1971 and 1986.

These laws include Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

According to the Terms of Reference, the committee will assess the status of implementation of each of the Acts vis-a-vis the objectives. It will also examine and take into account various court orders and judicial pronouncements relating to these Acts.

"The panel has been asked to recommend specific amendments needed so as to bring them in line with current requirements. It has also been asked to draft proposed amendments in each of the aforesaid Acts to give effect to the proposed recommendations," the order said.

The members of the committee include former Environment Ministry secretary Viswanath Anand, Justice (Retd) A K Srivastav and senior advocate of Supreme Court K N Bhat.

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