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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Green signal to driveway

The Ganga driveway project is in the last lap of getting environmental clearance.

The State Level Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC) — the technical committee of the State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) — cleared the project in its last meeting on January 19. It would be placed before the chairman of the SEIAA in the next meeting for the final nod.

Based on reports from NIT-Patna and Bihar State Ganga River Conservation Management Society, the SEAC observed that the driveway project would neither affect the natural course of the river nor the habitat around it.

A member of the SEAC told The Telegraph: “The SEAC gave environmental clearance to the Ganga driveway project in its last meeting on January 19. The project was cleared after a site visit by the SEAC team and an independent geological assessment of the road construction department’s project report by V.N. Singh, a teacher in the civil engineering department of NIT-Patna. The project would now be tabled before the chairman of the SEIAA for the final nod.”

The SEIAA is entrusted with the responsibility of conducting environment impact assessment and giving clearance to projects costing less than Rs 5,000 crore. The driveway project proposal was sent to the authority in September last year seeking environmental clearance.

The SEAC member said: “Bihar State Ganga River Conservation Management Society has given its approval to this project stating that it would have no impact on the flora and fauna of the river. Besides, majority of the land over which the driveway would be constructed is already dead.”

The driveway project, which entails construction of a 20.5km-long four-lane road connecting west Patna with the eastern end of the city, has already received a no-objection certificate from Bihar State Pollution Control Board.