Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday sought the intervention of Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan to ease the "stringent procedure" laid down under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2006.

In a letter to Natarajan, Badal sought incorporation of a few amendments in the EIA Notification to ease the stringent procedure which had "adversely impacted supply of construction material".

The Chief Minister in the letter suggested the state authority should be empowered to consider environmental clearances of minor mineral projects irrespective of its area by amending the schedule to the notification, 2006.

All minor projects of an area less than five hectares should be considered in B-2 category projects so that their environmental clearances could be obtained in minimum possible time schedule, he said.

Badal also recommended exemption from obtaining environmental clearance for minor mineral projects where the depth of mining does not exceed six-ft, an official release said.

Badal ruled that time-bound projects of national importance like Chandigarh Airport, roads and highways had been affected severely which had cascading effect on economy of the state.

Punjab is facing a severe crunch of construction material like sand and gravel as mining operations in the state have come to a grinding halt in the wake of directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on August 17, 2012, the release said.

Prior environmental clearance for quarries comprising an area of more than five hectares was made mandatory by the Punjab and Haryana High Court by its order on November six, 2009.

Further, the High Court in its order dated April 26, 2012 held the environmental clearance mandatory to be obtained by brick-kiln owners.


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