| The annexe building of the Assembly in Patna. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
The State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) would issue the environmental clearance to the Assembly annexe building within a week.
The delayed application for the environmental clearance to the under-construction extension building was tabled in the first joint meeting of the recently reconstituted SEIAA and its technical panel — state-level expert appraisal committee (SEAC) — on Saturday.
“The matter for issuance of the clearance to the Assembly annexe building was deliberated at length in the meeting held on Saturday. The members of SEIAA and SEAC seemed largely satisfied with the corrective steps taken by the department in lieu of the fault committed by commencing construction works without prior environmental clearance. Now, SEIAA is likely to finalise the rest of the formalities, including a re-plantation plan for loss of the green cover in construction of the building within a week. Thereafter, the environmental clearance is likely to be issued,” said a source in the building construction department.
There are serious violations in the construction of the annexe building and a petition is also being heard at the National Green Tribunal at present. The Telegraph had highlighted the issue in its edition dated February 4, February 8 and August 1. Though the construction work of the building started in 2010, the building construction department filed an application for the mandatory environmental clearance for the ambitious project in February this year. The construction work on the building was stopped in March after the matter came to light.
A member of SEAC said positive recommendations for issuance of environmental clearance to the annexe building have been made in the inspection report submitted by the team after site visit. “The issuance of EC in this case is subject to penal actions according to which an FIR is required to be filed against the department concerned that has already been done by the state pollution control board. The department concerned needs to submit an undertaking with SEIAA stating that it would not repeat such mistakes in future. The building construction department has also filed such an affidavit in case of the Assembly. Hence, now that all the stipulations have been fulfiled, there is no point in holding back the environmental clearance,” said the source in SEAC.