The NITI Aayog, the government’s apex think tank has commissioned a study to examine the ‘unintended economic consequences’ of judicial decisions that have hindered and stalled big-ticket projects on environmental grounds.
Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog, stated that the study was a purely economic exercise. The intent of this study is to analyse the cost and benefit of certain judicial decisions. It doesn’t question judicial intervention.
NITI Aayog intends to examine five major projects that have been impacted by judicial decisions of the Supreme Court or the National Green Tribunal.
1. Construction of an Airport in Mopa in Goa
The Supreme Court in 2019 had suspended environmental clearance to the project. In 2020, they allowed the project with several impositions.
2. Shutting down of Sterile Copper Plant in Tamil Nadu-
The Supreme Court dismissed petition by Vedanta, who owns this unit. This plant was shut down due to metallic toxins and water pollution caused by the unit.
3. Cessation of iron ore mining in Goa-
In 2018, the Supreme Court had quashed 88 mining leases for violating mining procedures.
4. Suspension of sand mining in Uttar Pradesh-
NGT had suspended sand mining operations in 2013 and directed environmental clearances.
5. Ban on Construction activities in Delhi-
NGT has banned several constructions activities.
They also plan analyse this by interviewing people who’ve been affected by the closure of the projects, environmental campaigners, experts and assessing the business impact of closure.
The study is to be undertaken by the CUTS (Consumer Unity and Trust Society) Centre for Competition, Investment and Economic Regulation, headquartered in Jaipur.