Why I filed a petition to withdraw the Draft EIA notification 2020

When we are dealing with environmental disasters and a pandemic, the last thing we, as a country, should be doing, is to make laws that support further disaster. The Draft Environmental Impact Assessment notification 2020 will do just that. 

Image Source: Hindustan Times

EIA notification 2020 proposes a mechanism to legitimize some actions currently listed as violations. This includes projects like starting construction without a valid clearance, dilutes rules by expanding the list of projects exempted from the public consultation, and does not prescribe a robust post environment clearance monitoring system.

What is EIA?

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) had released a Draft Notification on Environment Impact Assessment 2020 (EIA Notification 2020) on March 12, 2020 and had called for responses in the next 60 days.

The EIA Notification 2020 is to replace and supersede EIA Notification 2006 and the many amendments issued since then. The new Draft Notification contains many new provisions, several virtually re-writing rules and norms for environmental impact assessments and related approvals for projects.

EIA Notification 2020 is changing India’s environmental regulatory regime to the detriment of the environment and to the lives and livelihoods of people dependent on the ecosystem.

How will it harm the environment?

The EIA notification provides the framework for India’s environmental policy and institutes rules for environmental assessments and clearances.

The new draft notification, if implemented, might give too much power to industrialists and corporates to carry out industrial activities at the cost of sustainable environmental goals.

Instead of focusing on ensuring the protection of the environment, the draft EIA 2020 undermines the orders of the National Green Tribunal which had ruled against post-facto approvals.

This Notification is Anti – Environment. It will ruin our ecology in the coming future. If it gets implemented, It will give more power to the industrialist to destroy our Environment.

The draft Environmental Impact Assessment notification proposes to be an update to the EIA of 2006, which specifies a “minimum of 30 days” for people to respond. The current version of the update, which will likely become law in 60 days, gives a “minimum of 20 days” of notice period. It also requires that the public-hearing process be wrapped up in 40 days, as opposed to the existing norm of 45 days.

I request you to sign our petition, for us and for our planet!

(The views expressed in the article are the author’s own. Let Me Breathe neither endorses nor is responsible for them.)

Aman Banka