FAC not being transparent, claims NGO

Agenda and minutes of the meetings not being put up on the website


Neha Sethi | December 27, 2010

A green NGO has claimed that the minutes of the forest advisory committee (FAC) meetings are not being put up on the ministry of environment and forests’ website leading to lack of transparency in matters of granting forest clearance. “When Jairam Ramesh became the environment and forests minister, the first thing he talked about was being transparent, but he is not following it,” Himanshu Thakkar of South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) said. 

In a right to information (RTI) application filed by Thakkar’s organisation on September 14, they have sought information on the officer responsible for the task of uploading the minutes of the meetings of the FAC. They have also demanded to know why agenda notes of an FAC meeting are not put up on the ministry’s website before a meeting takes place. 

The NGO then wrote to the appellate authority on October 26 to demand a reply for the RTI. A letter was finally sent out to the central information commission (CIC) on December 10. The same letter was also forwarded to Ramesh. It said, ‘The officers responsible for the administration of the Forest Advisory Committee have failed to follow basic norms of transparency.’ The green group has not received a reply in the matter till now. 



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