Neither the digital media nor the print media and even social media are discussing the EIA draft notification 2020 (Environmental Impact Assessment). In a simple way, the government is trying to give the green signals officially to kill nature. Let us know what is Environmental Impact Assessment first. Whenever an Industry wants to establish its outlet it needs to go through certain assessments. During the assessment, the government will make sure that the firm establishment does not affect nature like the forest, rivers, and animal husbandry.
Now the central government has drafted the Environmental Impact Assessment 2020 which seems to be problematic. The draft is designed in an industrial friendly way. It is going to give them acceptance with minimal background paper assessment.
Here are some key issues in the draft that is going to kill the environment :
- The clearance of the project can be given even if they have started construction or already running the industry without any environmental clearances.
- If the industries have damaged the environment, previously they were ceased. But, according to this draft, they might impose fines as a punishment.
- If the public around the industry has objections regarding it, previously they were given 30 days to approach the authorities to the complaint on them. But, now the time has been reduced to 20 days.
- As time gets reduced there won’t be any objections, suggestions gathered and it gives clearance for establishing the industry.
- Through this draft, once a project gets approved then it will be categorized into “STRATEGIC”. When placed under this category the details regarding the industry will not be placed in the public domain.
- Further, the draft notification states that the new construction projects up to 1,50,000 square meters (instead of the existing 20,000 square meters) do not need “detailed scrutiny” by the Expert Committee, nor do they need EIA studies and public consultation.
- Violations can only be reported suo motu by the project proponent, or by a government authority, appraisal committee, or regulatory authority which is against the principles of natural justice.