We Reject Draft EIA, 2020

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The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has recently proposed a draft of the new Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) notification 2020, that seeks to replace 2006 notification.

What is EIA?

Every project or infrastructure builtin our country has to go through an Environmental Impact Assessment. Before the project is given a green signal, the economic, environmental and social impact of the concerned development activity is evaluated. This helps in making sure that the project is not damaging the environment and our natural habitat.

Issues with the new EIA draft, 2020

  1. It allows approval of projects that have started construction or have been in running phase without securing environmental clearances.
  2. The time period for public response on any project has been reduced from 30 days to 20 days. So less time for people to analyze and provide critical assessment for any project. Less transparency and credibility.
  3. Govt can also keep certain projects away from public scrutiny by declaring the project as "strategic". A huge threat to our democracy.
  4. The old EIA of 2006 required an assessment every 6 months to make sure that activities are being carried out on the terms on which permission was given. The new EIA has increased the time period to 1 year now.
  5. Industries like soda-ash, acids, petroleum and petrochemical products, dyes, biomedical waste, treatment plants, synthetics, paints, chemical fertilizers, pesticides and construction industries – all of which use harmful chemicals and therefore pose threats to human health – will be exempted from the public clearance process.

In short, our environment is being left to the mercy of the rich businessmen who see nothing but profit. We have already seen the LG Polymer Gas leak in Vishakhapatnam that caused a lot of casualties. Let's make sure we do not leave our environment in the hands of our bureaucrats.

It's time we take charge of our environment. Let's not take it for granted !!

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