GUWAHATI, Dec 24 - The State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) of Assam has allegedly not been complying with the orders of the Central Information Commission (CIC) and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in matters of making public the relevant information on granting of environmental clearance to the industrial etc., units.
RTI-cum-environment activist Rohit Choudhury has, in a letter to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, alleged that the minutes of the meeting, project information and other details required for the purpose of appraisal and grant of environmental clearance in the State of Assam has not been uploaded on the official website of SEIAA, which is a flagrant violation of the orders and notification issued by the CIC and MoEFCC in this respect.
He also made a plea before Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to engage the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption wing of Assam Police to investigate as to how the ECs were granted to the polluting industries within 10-km radius from the boundary of Kaziranga National Park, Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary, Garbhanga Reserve Forest and Deepor Beel. Strict actions should also be taken against those officials found guilty in this connection, said the RTI-cum-environment activist.
The CIC issued an order on January 18, 2012, while the MoEFCC also issued an order on March 20, 2012 in this respect. The MoEFCC had issued a notification too on September 14, 2006 in this connection.
Due to nefarious nexus of SEIAA, Assam, the Pollution Control Board, Assam and the Department of Environment and Forest, Assam with some unscrupulous people, polluting industries are mushrooming in the entire State of Assam, including around Kaziranga National Park, Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary, Garbhanga Reserve Forest and Deepor Beel etc., environmentally important areas.
Since the Chief Minister has been repeatedly committing that the State government would try to rid Assam of corruption and pollution, he should ask the SEIAA, Assam, State Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC), Assam, Pollution Control Board, Assam and all the District Environment Impact Assessment Authorities (DEIAA) to upload the minutes of the meetings, project information and other details required for the purpose of appraisal and grant of EC in the State on the official website of SEIAA/SEAC/PCB, Choudhury said.