New Delhi: The Forest Advisory Council in the Ministry of Environment and Forests that looks at key issues related to chopping of forests for road, mining and development projects has new members. But the appointment of two of the three members has stirred a controversy.
The Forest Advisory Council, a statutory body, considers hundreds of proposals on whether a forest should be diverted for non-forest use such as mining and industrial projects.
Now, two of the members appointed to it recently have a clear interest in mining and the hydropower industry.
KP Nyati's background lies in chemical engineering and has served as a principal advisor of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
NP Todaria is a professor from Garwhal University, has served as an EIA consultant for hydropower companies, and publicly supported the construction of dams on the upper reaches of the Ganga.
A bare perusal of the Order of the Supreme Court clearly shows that both the 'non official members', given their background, are clearly not independent experts.
So will the Environment Ministry respect the order and reconstitute the FAC?