Around 12 states are expected to launch online platform for green clearances by next month to ensure transparency and faster approval of projects, a top Environment Ministry official said.

Currently, there is an online system, launched in June-July last year, for giving environment, forest and coastal regulation zones (CRZ) clearances for category ‘A’ projects related to industry, thermal power, infrastructure, river valley and mining across the country.

“In the last one year, we brought everything online – all forest, environment and CRZ clearances. In the next step, we want to take this transparency to state level. We are hoping that by June-end, we will have 12 states that would go online,” Environment Secretary Ashok Lavasa told PTI.

An online green clearance window is necessary at state level as bulk of the environment clearances are given by the state-level authorities, he said.

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Stating that e-window for green clearances at state level would be launched in phases, Lavasa said, “It will be a gradual process. We have held workshops and given them the software. We will go online depending upon the capability of states and work load. In some states, there is not much work load and there we may go slow.”

The Ministry’s immediate goal would be to ensure at least 12 states such as Maharashtra start giving online green clearances and later will pursue other states, he said.

The online system for submission of applications for green clearances will bring transparency in the application process, real-time monitoring and adherence to timelines for verification, stage-wise approval and compliance mechanism among others, he added.

Developmental projects have been categorised as A and B depending on their threshold capacity and likely pollution potential. The state authorities are empowered to clear category B projects