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| Last Updated:11/03/2019

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Prakash Javadekar cautions against extreme, unimplementable green orders

NEW DELHI: With the Centre and the National Green Tribunal engaged in a pitched battle on a range of issues - most recently over the tribunals' recent order banning diesel vehicles older than ten years in Delhi-environment minister Prakash Javadekar has cautioned against "extreme" and "unimplementable" orders.

Speaking exclusively to ET, Javadekar refrained from directly commenting on the National Green Tribunal but called for greater consultation on critical issues." I will not like to comment because its a quasi judicial body... yes, we have created NGT. NGT gives its orders but I think any institute needs to create that credibility where their orders... people don't see ...that they are either so extreme, unimplementable and then they are withdrawn the next day...So I hope that every time institutes discuss the whole... listen to all sides and then decide. That's the much better path. But that's not a comment for NGT because NGT is a quasi judicial body," Javadekar said when asked about the activism seen in several NGT's orders and on whether his ministry found itself in a conflict situation with the body.

Rejecting allegations that the environment ministry was doling out green clearances without due consideration to environmental concerns, Javadekar said that these were" deliberate attempt by vested interests to create a wrong impression as some people do not like India to progress".

"It is not about clearing. It's about setting the processes. We have replaced processes thatwere arbitrary, subjective, processes thatwere influenced from outside as per Jayanthi Natrajan's letter to Sonia Gandhi...we have changed that. We have set the process and made them, transparent and online... without comprising on any of the environmental considerations. Actually, we have strengthened it," the minister said.

When asked about his ministry's rather strained relationship with NGOs on the issue of clearances, Javadekar said that he saw NGOs as partners and was willing to hear any 'sane voice'but did not believe in monopolizing of policy by a few NGOs.

"There should be no monopoly of some organizations...last week I had a meeting with 125 NGOs who are working in the filed in forest,wildlife, environment, air pollution and soon..all of them never got a chance because the whole policy was led by some NGOs monopolizing it. Instead we have opened the door for all NGOs who are really working in the field and they will always get the chance. We hear a sane voice from any quarter. NGOs are our partners and it's not just NGO participation but also its the people's participation which matters", Javadekar told this newspaper.

The minister also clarified that the recent government action initiated against environmental NGO Greenpeace was not initiated by his ministry and no reference was made by it." reasons if Home ministry does something,its actually in the national interest and they can always give you the reasons and the fact...that is not an initiated action from the environment ministry... there was no reference made to or by environment ministry", the environment minister said.

Prakash Javadekar also clarified that his ministry was not attempting any dilution of the Forests Rights Acts and claimed that the Environment ministry was not at loggerheads with the Tribal Affairs ministry on it.

"There is no turf war with them... that is a Tribal Affairs ministry law and it can only be changed by parliament... we have not diluted FRA", the minister claimed.