Tapas Guha vs Union of India 2024 INSC 399 – Silchar Greenfield Airport – Environmental Clearance

Environment Law – Greenfield airport at Silchar– Environmental regulations are in place precisely to ensure that developmental projects, such as the establishment of airports, are undertaken in a manner that minimizes adverse ecological impacts and safeguards the well-being of both the environment and local communities. While acknowledging the importance of infrastructure development, it is paramount that such projects proceed in harmony with environmental laws to prevent irreparable damage to ecosystems and biodiversity. The requirement for Environmental Clearance serves as a crucial safeguard against unchecked exploitation of natural resources and helps uphold the principles of sustainable development- which safeguards the interests of both present and future generations. Therefore, while the decision to establish an airport may serve broader policy objectives, it must be executed within the confines of legal frameworks designed to protect the environment and ensure responsible resource management. Failure to adhere to these norms not only undermines the integrity of environmental governance but also risks long-term environmental degradation and societal discord- when the law prescribes specific norms for carrying out activities requiring an Environmental Clearance, those provisions have to be strictly complied with- Directed that absolutely no activity shall be carried out in breach of the provisions of the Notification dated 14 September 2006 at the site of the proposed greenfield airport at Silchar.

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