Tribune News Service
New Delhi, July 25
Putting on document his “strongest objections” to the draft EIA notification 2020, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change Jairam Ramesh on Saturday stated proposed modifications in environmental clearance course of for infrastructure initiatives “will routinely legitimise illegality and promote land grab, not development”.
“Environmental regulation is not an unnecessary burden but an essential obligation for the health and welfare of our people and sustainable development,” Ramesh cautioned in a letter to Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar and marked to Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu
The former Environment Minister stated the proposed modifications will not be primarily based on audits, assessments and analyses or any analysis however mirrored a mindset that sees environmental regulation as an pointless regulatory burden. “The Chairman of the Rajya Sabha very recently in his characteristic style said nature plus culture is equal to future. I am marking a copy of this letter to him as well so as to let him know how the equation he has so rightly and nicely formulated will be thrown out of the window if the draft EIA Notification 2020 becomes a reality,” Ramesh stated, calling it his “duty to place on record” his objections
“The draft notification allows post facto approvals that go against very principle of assessment and public participation prior to environment clearance and has provisions that will routinely legitimise illegality,” he stated.
“It reduces public participation in all steps of the environment clearance process by lessening the notice period for public hearing and doing away with them with a large category of projects and does away with environment impact assessment altogether in very many cases of expansion,” he added.
Ramesh stated it will increase validity of surroundings clearances permitting initiatives to “secure” land for lengthy length even when they don’t seem to be constructed. “This promotes land grab, not development and gives the Union government full powers to appoint State Environmental Impact Assessment Authorities. This is yet another nail in the coffin of cooperative federalism,” he stated.
The Narendra Modi authorities’s try and overhaul the environmental clearance course of has acquired widespread criticism from environmental specialists.
One of the principle goals of the draft is to carry beneath regulation industries or initiatives which have violated the EIA 2006 notification by beginning development work earlier than environmental clearance is granted or by increasing capability.
Experts are questioning numerous provisions, together with for post-facto mission clearance, taking away the obligatory means of public session for a variety of initiatives and rising validity of the surroundings clearances.