After spending most of its energy in tightening anti-pollution rules and making efforts to cut delay in decision making processes during the first two years of the Modi government, the environment ministry will now focus on compliance of these rules over the next three years.
It will be done through introducing hefty civil penalty provisions for violation of green laws, using technology to monitor violations and creating capacities at the local level for strict implementation of environmental laws. Environment minister Prakash Javadekar said on Monday:
“Next three years would be (devoted to) compliance, compliance and compliance (of all environmental/antipollution laws/rules)”,
He said his ministry will come out with a civil penalty bill to scale up the monetary fine so that it can work as a real deterrent.
Though the minister did not share details of the proposed legislation, the bill is expected to be introduced in the monsoon session. TOI had in March reported about the proposed law through which the ministry is looking to increase the fine to a minimum of Rs 5 crore up from the existing Rs 1 lakh and imprisonment of up to seven years for causing ‘substantial’ environmental damage.
Noting how compliance is a real problem at this juncture when the country has many laws and hundreds of rules, Javadekar highlighted that the existing penalties are too meagre. Javadekar said