Ministry matters

seac: Union Department Approves New State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority and SEAC in TN | Chennai News

CHENNAI: Almost two months after the end of the mandate of the State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) and the State Level Expert Assessment Committee (SEAC) , the Union Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change (MoEFC) has approved the training of three SEIAA members and 14 SEAC members.
While retired IFS officer N Krishnakumar would lead SEIAA as chairman for a three-year term, retired IAS officer K Deenabandhu was appointed chairman of SEAC , according to the MoEFC notification dated January 11.
The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board member secretary is said to be part of the 14-member SEAC committee, which plays a crucial role in reviewing projects and forwarding its recommendations to the SEIAA to make decisions on the licensing issue. Environmental (CE) which is mandatory for all projects. .
Former Chief Environmental Engineer of TNPCB K Kumar, Retired Deputy Environmental Engineer of TNPCB D Velazhagan, Retired Director of TNPCB D Anne Josephine Selvam and Retired Officer of IFS KSSVP Reddy are among the committee members. Professors from Geology, Marine and Environment Departments of Anna University, Madras University and Presidential College are also part of the committee.
The term of the previous committee headed by S Mohan of IIT-Madras ended on 4 November.
“Although the formation of the committee has been delayed for two months, we are happy to see retired officers from the IAS, IFS and retired officers from the National Pollution Control Board, who are rich in experience in dealing with topics related to environmental issues and its impact.Thus, it will facilitate our job to explain the projects, its pros and cons,” said an official from the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu (SIPCOT).
He added that SIPCOT is awaiting CE from SEAC for six major projects including Furniture Industrial Park at Tuticorin and Industrial Housing Project at Vallam Vadagal on the outskirts of Chennai. “We are preparing proposals to obtain EC for 10 other projects. We will submit them by next week,” he added.
An official from the Department of Mines and Minerals said the department was one of the hardest hit due to the non-existence of SEAC for two months. “We have been waiting for EC to open approximately 12,000 rough stone quarries for a long time. The previous committee was not effective in issuing the CE on time, even after submitting all the necessary reports on environmental issues. We hope that the new committee will make up for the excessive delay of the previous one by giving CE to the proposal,” the official said.
Similarly, the Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board, PWD, NHAI and several other departments expected the new committee to move quickly to clarify long pending proposals for the EC.