New Delhi: Long delayed ‘public purpose projects' in sectors like highways, ports and railways are in for speedy green clearance on the lines of expeditious environmental nod that defence projects have got recently.
Declaring this, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the country needs infrastructure for progress and it can be ensured without compromising on environment as he is working with the slogan “development without destruction”.
He told PTI that after taking over as Minister, he first focussed on speedy clearance of defence projects, regarding which there was a huge pendancy during the previous UPA government.
Javadekar has already given clearance to a number of defence projects and streamlined the process for others like infrastructure development along the China border by empowering the respective states to take decisions.
Next in line for clearance are projects related to highways, roads, ports, railways and linear transmission, he said.
“I want to deliver and deliver on account of development of the country. Therefore, next (after defence projects) we have taken national highways, roads, railways, ports, airports and linear transmission,” the Minister said.
“Such ‘public purpose projects' are the basic requirement for the progress of the country....These are all public purpose projects and we want to do it passionately with a policy framework for each sector and we are going ahead with it,” he said.
He said that after assuming charge of the Environment Ministry, he had decided that defence will be his first priority. “Unless the country is defended, our environment would not be defended.”
Accusing the UPA government of delaying projects, Javadekar said clearance to an even strategically important defence project like setting up of a Navy infrastructure at Karwar in Karnataka as an alternative to the Mumbai hub was pending for three years.
“It took just 30 minutes of discussion for me to clear it,” he said.