The Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies' (TES)
Volume 8, Number 1, 2009

ISSN 1602-2297

Reorienting Environment Policy in India Towards a Local Area-Based Development and Management Paradigm

Tishyarakshit Chatterjee,
Principal Secretary, Transport, Roads and Buildings Department 507, fifth floor, J-Block, Secretariat Government of Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad: 500022 India.

Abstract: Though based on sound scientific principles and globally recognized norms, India’s environmental laws and policy are not effectively implemented. The visible deterioration of city and receptor environmental quality is in stark denial of the avowed state policy precepts such as sustainability and natural resources conservation. Development project clearance methods, environmental management and regulatory practice do not converge with the corresponding capacity and structure of environmental regulation, information and markets at the impact levels. Policy directs Development within environmental carrying capacities, essentially through pollution source-based impact assessments and management procedures. This tends to discourage cleaning up already degraded receptors, shifting polluting development towards cleaner areas. A participative, market oriented, local area-based approach could promote more holistic development extending incentives for polluters and victims alike in cleaning up to ensure incomes from both environmental and conventional economic flows.
This paper suggests ‘eco-synergy’ as a framework concept to guide such a development form. It also suggests environmental zoning, local empowerment and management re-structuring as supportive tools to reorient Indian environment policy accordingly.

Keywords: Carrying capacity, receptors, source-based regulation, area-based management, non-point pollution, eco-synergy.

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