National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is considering to drag union environment ministry to the court because of delay in granting environment clearance for road projects.
It may be noted that recently road developer GMR Infrastructure withdrew from the contract to develop a mega highway project because of delay in environment clearance.
The National Highways Builders Federation (NHBF), the highway developers’ lobby body, says environment clearances are taking longer now because of policy changes in the last one-two years, such as clubbing forest clearances with environmental nods.
In December 2012, the Environment Ministry said that companies have to submit details of specific areas where they will take soil and earth for building the highway while taking an environment nod, said M Murali, Director General, NHBF.
At present, about 20 highway projects are awaiting a final nod from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, reports suggest. These projects could be jeopardised if more developers opt to exit, citing such delays.