CITIZEN CAMPAIGN TO WITHDRAW DRAFT EIA2020
The notice period for the EIA 2020 expires on August 11, before which we must register our objections to the authorities
SO WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?
The Environmental Impact Assessment notification 2006 exists for environmental protection and public and worker health and safety. The new draft EIA 2020, however, reduces time for clearances, pardons past environmental and human rights violations, legitimizes, future transgressions, and gives disproportionate power and security to those proposing/executing projects. It will also exempt public hearings on certain projects i.e it will revoke our right, as citizens, to voice our opposition.
This article by Sejal Mehta tells you everything you need to know, explaining what the draft means, why we should be worried, and what we can do about it right now.
HOW CAN I HELP?
Those leading the fight have made it really easy to voice your opinion by drafting an email. All you need to do is copy the text below, and send it to the email addresses listed here.
*Be sure to change a few words in the subject and body of the email before sending it, lest your efforts get ensnared by spam filters*
THE PROTEST EMAIL
WITHDRAW Draft EIA 2020
<today's date>, 2020
Shri Prakash Javadekar
Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change
Indira Paryavaran Bhawan
Jor Bagh, New Delhi
As a potential law of this country, we the people of India are unwilling to accept this draft EIA notification 2020 for the reasons given below: It is a regressive draft because it still targets easy and quick project level approvals as the sole objective of EIA. Such a law takes India backwards, not into the future, and is inconsistent with some of the best practices in EIA around the world. For efficient environmental management, several nations have EIAs that are implemented at the sectoral (power or transport), strategic (energy transition) and crosscutting (health and biodiversity) scales.
When we read the draft EIA 2020 proposed by the Ministry it makes us feel like the central government is fearful of public participation. It is unacceptable that the citizens of India, won’t be allowed to speak about the projects you impose on our neighbouring areas, our hills and lakes, our coasts and forests and other protected regions. The draft gives exemptions to so many projects from public hearings and public scrutiny, that it seems that it is the public hearing process that is the exception to the rule of government approvals to undeserving projects.
The Covid-19 pandemic induced lockdown has shown us how unequal our society is. Ecological resources are a lifeline for the poorest people of our country and for communities who live in forest areas, coastal regions and the mountains. There are enough reports to acknowledge nature thrives when environmental communities are secure and prosperous. The government should take back the EIA dilutions, which hand over our valuable natural resources to private industries. We demand that the government draft laws enable marginalised communities to prosper and conduct their livelihoods.
This government that is mostly made up of seniors may not care about the future of the Indians who are not yet born or will grow up in the next few decades. But it is a great concern for the parents and young people of today.
The central government has done very little to combat climate change, environmental degradation and biodiversity loss. If we do not remedy our actions, the generation of Indians who are now in school or yet to come, will suffer the most. Therefore we are morally obligated to demand the Ministry to replace the EIA 2020 and with a progressive law on environmental protection and climate change. We demand that the central government and the environment ministry stop assuming they can go on with business as usual.
The covid pandemic has taught the world a very important lesson. We must focus on the long term health of all people for each one of us to be safe. The time to step back and think is now because the world has already changed forever. We expect that, as our elected representatives, you will act in accordance with the will of the people.
What else can I do?
Sign the citizen and industry letters that come your way, add your name to online petitions, write to your local representatives (MPs, MLAs, CMs).
Talk to your friends and family about what's going on.
Find an outlet for your outrage. Join in the online art campaign, or take your displeasure straight to the @moefccgoi comments section.
Finally, stay informed in real time with @carapiranha @nondonundone , @gabrielladcruz , @omkar_dharwadkar , @green_humour @letindiabreathe.in to name a few of the many individuals fighting the good fight.