In this era of fast development pandemic shows us that we should give much more priority to Environment, Nature for the sake of human survival. Environmental Impact Assessment measures the impact of a project. It measures the social, economic and most importantly environmental impacts of a project. It indicates which should be done so that project can not make harm to Environment.
During the time when Pandemic was started to spreading in the country central government released the draft EIA notification and placed it for public feedback. Feedback was taken till 11th of August. Approximately 20 Lakh comments from the public and Non-government organisation recorded on the draft.
This EIA seeks to replace the previous EIA 2006. In this draft there are many things that attracted too many comments. Like:
Post Facto Clearance: Under this new draft EIA if a project is permissible in an area it can operate without getting prior environmental clearance. It will be permitted to get post facto regularisation of environment violation by paying fines. Critics says that this is dilution of environment laws.
Self Surrender: If any violation is found in an project then the company can give suo-moto declaration. The cognizance of violation shall be made on the suo-moto application of the project proponent.
Exemption: In this draft projects are divided into Three categories A, B1, B2. In the projects of category A there is no entry for public participation. And in the case of project under B2 category it will be exempted from public hearing and its impacts will not be publicly said.
Reduction in response time: In the EIA-2006 the response time to measure if the project is according to norms or not were 30 days many said that for a development project it is not enough. In this draft the response time is reduced to 20 days.
Extended validity: This draft increases the validity for environment clearances to 50 years as against 30 years in the previous draft.
By the previous EIA clearance rate of Ministry of Environment, Forest and climate change was approximately 87% .
Different political reaction came out on this draft. Ex Environment minister Jairam Ramesh said that this draft is a part of move by centre to dilute Environment laws. Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan said that state government cannot agree with many recommendations of the EIA Draft. Specially in the issues of Mining and Quarrying permits. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that Draft EIA is for Suit-Boot friends. In replying to all of these Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said Draft is in line with the green rules and court rulings.
But the fact remains that if any big project seriously violate environment rules and be a reason for Environment Pollution Ultimately the People and the Nature will suffer. Yes in 21st century Growth is a utmost necessity but Everything should be regulated so that we can preserve our Nature.
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