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Strategically, it is wise to adhere to environmental norms
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Strategically, it is wise to adhere to environmental norms

Yes, it is important to prioritize strategic projects that are vital to the defense of border states. The plan of the environment ministry to speed up things isn’t helpful. The ministry proposed exempting these projects form the environmental clearance process. Instead, they should be required to follow standard environmental safeguards. Instead of a blanket exemption and a checklist of environmental safeguards, the GoI should establish an expedited clearance process. The plan’s stated purpose is to make these strategic projects more resilient and secure by ignoring environmental impacts.

There is a pressing need to expand and improve border infrastructure, especially along China’s long border. Beijing should be incrementally’mainstreaming’ its peripheries. It is dangerous to ignore the fact that India’s longest frontier is located in the ecologically fragile Himalayan Region. These activities have global and regional implications. Security implications are also posed by climate change, biodiversity loss, environmental degradation and other factors like climate change. Therefore, all undertakings, even those that are related to strategic needs must mitigate the impacts.

GoI should create a specialized committee made up of multidisciplinary experts. This committee will review and establish environmental norms for pipeline project and conduct advanced studies for future ones. The committee should explore ways to create infrastructure that has the least environmental footprint. As the project proponent, GoI accepts a self-compliance system. However, it is important to have independent audits done to assess the project’s environmental viability as well as its impact during operation. Security will not be hampered by environmental norms.

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