Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India on environmental clearance and post clearance monitoring

The Performance Audit on ‘Environmental Clearance and Post Clearance Monitoring’ examined whether the process of grant of EC was carried out in a timely and transparent manner, in respect of environmental clearances granted during the calendar years 2011 to July 2015, and the monitoring of compliance with the environmental clearance conditions by the concerned agencies for the clearances granted during the calendar years 2008 to 2012. The Performance Audit revealed that the Environment Impact Assessment process suffers from various procedural deficiencies which led to delays in grant of environmental clearances. Each project was treated singularly for Environment Impact Assessment but cumulative impact study/assessment was found lacking. There were lack of compliance of environmental clearance conditions by Project Proponents. Also noticed weaknesses in monitoring by State Pollution Control Boards/Union Territory Pollution Control Committees and Regional Offices of MoEF&CC in compliance of environmental clearance conditions. There was lack of monitoring in the Critically Polluted Areas. A National Regulator for looking at the entire process of grant of environmental clearances and its monitoring is under consideration by MoEF&CC.