By Ankit Chaturvedi,The Times of New Delhi, March 31, 2021The Indian government on Monday proposed a series of amendments to its environmental laws, aimed at improving the public’s trust in the environment.
The proposed amendments include:A ban on new coal mines.
The government had introduced a moratorium on new mines in January.
The new mining moratorium would be phased out over a period of three years, but would not apply to existing mines.
The proposed ban also includes a moratorium for new dams and irrigation projects, which are already subject to a moratorium.
An amendment that seeks to ensure that the national forests are protected from polluting industries.
The amendments would also allow the state government to sell forest land in exchange for conservation measures, such as reducing the amount of carbon emitted by existing forests.
The proposals come amid a public backlash against the government’s handling of the Kudankulam nuclear power project.
A series of high-profile deaths, including the three young students who died in a nuclear accident in 2014, prompted widespread anger and a nationwide protest that led to a national debate about nuclear safety and safety regulations.
A ban, which is expected to cost about $100 million, would also mean that the government could no longer buy the forest land it is supposed to protect.
Cabinet Minister Nitin Gadkari, in a speech on Monday, said the government had to take stock of what had been achieved in the past and what was needed to make it even better in the future.
“I have said before, there will be no more new coal mine in the country,” he said.
“But there will also be no new nuclear power plant in the state.”
Gadkari said the new amendments are aimed at creating a more positive environment for people to live and work in and that “environmental measures are a key element of this.”