With eye on China, govt to fast-track border roads

Once the policy is formulated, the defence ministry need not come to the Centre for environmental clearances for constructing border roads and strategically important projects coming within 100 kms of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), environment minister Prakash Javadekar said on Thursday.
Under the new policy, the decisions can be taken by the state governments concerned without compromising on environmental concerns.

The policy will be framed in a manner in which a state government can take decisions on environmental and forest clearances for defence infrastructure projects, including roads, coming in the 100-km-range of LAC, Javadekar said.

The 4,056-km-long LAC with China touches four states – Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim.

The decision to ease norms on green clearances was taken after senior defence ministry officials headed by its secretary RK Mathur met Javadekar at his office as several projects are held up for want of green nod.

‘Today we met with the defence ministry officials at their request because lot of their projects were getting delayed approval. The issue was how to ensure that there won’t be delay. The answer is a policy-based decision,’ he said. He said the meeting considered the status of pending defence ministry proposals for environment or forest clearance by the environment ministry.

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