Union Ministry of Environment and Forest under the stewardship of Jairam Ramesh has hit headlines for many reasons, plunging a sleepy portfolio in limelight. Jairam has undoubtedly done some commendable jobs but some of his decisions appeared dull and mundane, which earned him scathing remarks from all quarters. His proposition is quite deplorable that on several occasion he had to take decision at the cost of environment and it palpably indicates that Jairam is not handling the ministry properly. He must know that such statement dents his credibility. It is quite clear that he changed his decision umpteenth times on a particular issue. The recent example is Posco project in Orissa. If he had to give his nod for this project, why wasn’t it done earlier? In Jaitapur nuclear project too, he showed his vacillating mind. It is not fair that first he adopts aggressive posture and then compromises with environment while giving clearance to any project. If he keeps changing his stance, how will the country know that he is shouldering his duty properly. It will not be surprising that another proposed big project, Vedanta, would be given green signal with some conditions. According to groundswell, he Ministry surrenders before industrialists. It is significant that why not he takes serious note of those projects which could affect environment. Being a Union Minister, if he flip-flops while taking a decision, it would drive wrong message and hit India’s image on international forum as well.

There are several decisions of Ministry of Environment which caused financial losses to the government.  A power project in Uttarakhand was closed down when Rs 700-800 crore was spent on it. Its decision was forwarded to group of ministers many a time.  Needles to say that the Ministry has to deal with many complex issues, but it will be more difficult when a formal approach to negotiate the matter is declined. It is the need of hour that the government should strike a balance between environment and development. It is essential for Jairam that he should stand firm while clearing the deck of any project, no matter whatever pressure comes. If he fails to keep a balance between environment and industrialization, he will loose his credibility.