EIA draft must be withdrawn to stop 'environmental destruction': Rahul

James Marshall
August 10, 2020

Those raising objections to the draft environment impact assessment (EIA) notification are the same people who took "big decisions without consultations" when they were in power, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Monday, hitting out at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

The EIA 2020 draft issued by the government will bring radical changes in the current Environment Impact Assessment guidelines.

"EIA 2020 draft must be withdrawn to stop #LootOfTheNation and environmental destruction", he tweeted. Neither will highways or railway lines passing through dense forests and other eco-sensitive areas, this will result in the massive hacking down of trees, leading to the destruction of habitats of thousands of endangered species, Gandhi said. In this context, the term "environmental impact assessment" (EIA) is usually used when applied to actual projects by individuals or companies and the term "strategic environmental assessment" (SEA) applies to policies, plans and programmes most often proposed by organs of state. It legitimises post-facto clearance, which means that even in cases where a project has come up without environment clearance, the project can continue to run.

In a Facebook post using the hashtag "WithdrawEIA2020", Gandhi had slammed the government over the EIA, 2020, draft, saying it was not only "disgraceful", but "dangerous".

"I urge every Indian to rise up and protest against it".

"A fight to protect our environment cuts across political and ideological beliefs".

Hawa Bagang, President, AAPSU stated that " The EIA should emphasize on Public Consultations & Accountability while stressing upon Sustainable Development at the same time. A day earlier he had said the draft provisions are "dangerous" and if notified, the long term consequences will be "catastrophic". Earlier on Sunday, he said the draft, which has now been placed for public feedback, is disgraceful and risky.

The draft EIA notification has drawn flak from environmentalists, students, youth wings and NGOs across India who claimed it diluted the environmental clearance procedure. The central government had earlier informed the court that the time period would end by June 30.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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