In an apparent reference to his predecessor and former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, Javadekar, who is the Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, charged him with blocking several infrastructure projects.
Responding to a question during an interaction at the Foreign Correspondents Club in New Delhi, on whether reservations by Environment Ministry controlled by previous UPA government hampered growth, Javadekar said, 'Unfortunately, yes'.
"I met (former PM) Dr Manmohan Singhji at a function. He, as a PM, had short-listed some 17 strategically important projects for clearance. For 17 months the 17 projects were pending. I told him, we had a meeting and have given clearance to 17 projects.
"My predecessor who is also my friend put no-go board. There were too many where would they go," the minister said in an apparent reference to Ramesh.
Javadekar added that after the change of guard at the Centre, the 'negative' approach policy has turned into 'positive'.
He said his Ministry is focusing at decentralization so that major decisions could be taken at the regional level with participation of states.
"Not a single rule of 'caring nature' has been changed. But those in the name of 'caring nature' which was stopping progress... because we think progress and environment protection of nature is simultaneously possible and both can go hand in hand," the minister said.
Javadekar said that after taking over he cleared important proposals like giving clearance to 35 coast guard chowkies, which were falling under the CRZ regulation and also started online process of granting clearance under which 200 applications are already being processed.
"Clearance was given to important projects like border roads, those increasing connectivity and those with strategic importance," the minister said.

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