15 October 2015
Union environment minister Prakash Javdekar said on Wednesday that environmental clearance for AP’s capital city Amaravati had been granted by the State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA).
He said that forest clearances for denotification of large chunks of forestland in the AP capital region were in the process and a policy notification would be issued soon. While sources in the government said that the environmental clearance was for the overall capital plan of 217 sq. km, fresh environmental clearances have to be obtained for buildings with area above 20,000 sq. metres.
Amaravati already got nod: Centre
Speaking to this newspaper over phone, Mr Javadekar said, “That is already granted. That is done at state level. It doesn’t come to us. SEIAA gives the ECs. For forest clearance, if the area is big, it comes to the Union ministry. Offline permissions are being given and the notification is getting readied.”
SEIAA is the authority for category B projects, including river valley, infrastructure and thermal power projects. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had recently stayed any clearing of flood plains on the banks of river Krishna for construction of the new capital without obtaining the environmental clearance first.
According to top sources in the SEIAA, the meeting was held three days back with three members — chaired by retired IAS S. Balasubrahmanyam, Andhra University environment professor G.M. Jagannadha Raju and representative from the Centre Surendra Pandey. During the meeting, in-principle environmental clearance was given to the seed capital plan of Amaravati.