From Prior to Post: Legalising Environmental Regulations?

On March 14, 2017, India’s environment ministry, issued a notification, which gives an opportunity for projects that have violated conditions of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification 2006 to be brought into compliance. Under this notification, a process is laid down for all those projects that have started construction, operation, expansion, modernization or change of product mix, without obtaining an environmental clearance to now apply for an environmental clearance. They have the opportunity to seek these approvals within six months from the issue of the notification, i.e by September 15th. There had been widespread criticism of the draft and final notification as well as a set of justification that has been given by the Ministry that have been discussed in Section 2 below. This working paper is an attempt to understand the sectoral and geographical spread of all the applications submitted to the Ministry within three months of the notification being gazette. In the two sections, we deal with the backdrop under which the notification was passed and the debates it generated. In the third section we examine the data of the 207 applications received for a Terms of Reference between March 15th and June 15th 2017. And in the final section of the study, we look at the implications of this data