After the Bhopal Gas tragedy in 1984, Government introduced EIA ( Environment Impact Assessment ). This is a process is applicable on every construction in the country whether it’s real estate, Dam, Mines, and etc. The main purpose of this EIA is to see, what the impact of any project on the environment will be? And If there are more negative impact then the project doesn’t get clearance. Or if there are less negative impact then How can it be avoided or reduced?

Environment Impact Accessment 2020 (EIA) | Problems | Impact on environment


EIA Draft 2020


The government declared that it was bringing about some changes in the process of EIA this year. And they released their draft in the month of March, document of around 80 pages. This draft entails the changes that the government wants to bring about in Environmental Impact Assessment, which they, ideally, want to make into a law.
According to Konchi Kolhi ( Senior Researcher,  Center for Policy Research ), “It was meant to be a law, which would help the government go ahead with the economic growth.”

PROBLEMS IN EIA 2020 DRAFT

Problem is that there are several issues with this New EIA draft. Instead of making the Environment Act stronger, it makes it weaker. So that all the industries are easily able to exploit it and this will cause the disasters that we see today to multiply in the future.

POST-FACTO CLEARANCE

The first problem is that there is a clause of ‘post-facto clearance’ in the draft that is, suppose A project has already started construction somewhere without environmental clearance, then its not an issue.
Or A project has already in operation sometimes without environmental clearance,  then it is not an issue. The project can get it’s clearance later.
“It was without obtaining prior consent to establish the oil plant from Pollution Control Board, Assam”. One of the reason for the recent incident of gas leak in the state of Assam.

PUBLIC HEARING REDUCED TO 20 DAYS

The second problem is the time of public hearing has been reduced. Earlier, 30 days were designated to public hearing. Now, only 20 days would be provided. So basically the public will get only 20 days to access the negative Impact of the project.

EXEMPTIONS FROM PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Third problem is that if a project violated an environmental law then the public has no right to point out the violation. The violation can be revealed by the violator himself or the government.

STRATEGIC EXEMPTIONS

The government says that the strategic projects according to Government, Public information regarding that would not be revealed by the government and no public hearing would be held. That basically means, the government can put a stamp of “Strategic” on any project.

If you think this draft need some changes you can sent a mail to the issued EMAIL ID
Deadline to submit your suggestion is 11th August 2020.

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