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Monday, Nov 29, 2021
Outlook.com
Environment: Jairam Ramesh

The Green Turns Grey

The environment minister promised much, but his flip-flops of late raise concern

The Green Turns Grey
Sandipan Chatterjee
The Green Turns Grey
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Mr Compromised

  • Vedanta In ’09, Jairam said no to mining. Now says yes to refinery expansion though water is scarce.
  • Polavaram dam Gives forest clearance, then seeks explanation
  • Posco Under litigation as the ministry says yes to forest clearance for iron ore/steel plant
  • Lavasa township Ministry report says ecologically sensitive Ghats will be affected. Later, Jairam lets off promoters with a fine.
  • National Green Tribunal Set up after dismantling the National Environment Tribunal. It allows any party (including violators) to appeal against decisions.

***

Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh is fast discovering that striking a balance between the environment, wildlife, coastal zones, forests and corporate lobbies can be quite a minefield. On one side, whispers abound on how the minister missed out on being elevated to cabinet rank because of his green-is-my-favourite-colour theme song while, on the other, environmentalists express disappointment that he has not lived up to all the promises made. While no one disputes that the minister has raised awareness (or that he is a huge improvement on his predecessors), a perception is gaining ground that the minister has not quite delivered.

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