In a major step towards introducing greater transparency in the working of his Ministry, the Minister for Environment & Forests, Shri Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the enlarged website of the Ministry on January 25, 1999. Shri Prabhu said that this was a landmark decision of his Ministry. The website will provide up-to-date information to the people about environmental and forestry clearance applications. The Minister added that his Ministry intends to have time limits for disposal of cases in the near future. The site will be updated every fortnight. It also has the e-mail addresses of the Members of the Advisory Committee. This will allow interested parties to directly communicate with the Members. Another novel feature is the availability of meeting schedules of the Advisory Committee.
The website will eliminate the need for applicants to run around the government offices in an effort to find the status of their cases. Similarly, the conditions on which these clearances are being given will also be available on the internet so that a watch can be kept on the compliance of these conditions. The applicants would also get to know the reasons why their projects are pending so that they can submit the necessary information and clarifications.
The website also provides the full text of environmental and forestry clearances issued since November, 1998. This would enable all those interested in environmental impact of developmental projects to know what specific conditions apply to a given project and help non-governmental organisations and others to monitor the status of compliance. This step, it is hoped, would promote stricter compliance of environmental safeguards.
For the benefit of applicants, the website also provides the format of application forms and questionnaires on which information is required to be submitted for environmental/forestry clearance.
The address of the enlarged website is http://www.nic.in/envfor