National: Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi and son Rahul Gandhi on Thursday accused the government of dismantling India’s environment rules. They also demanded the immediate withdrawal of draft EIA 2020.
The draft environment impact assessment (EIA) notification, 2020 was issued by the Environment Ministry in March. The notification involves the procedure of issuing environmental clearances to various projects. The Draft EIA 2020 has received thousands of suggestions from the public.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, in an article, said that the government has a social obligation to protect the environment and must withdraw the EIA.
“Simply put, the government must stop dismantling India’s environmental regulations. An essential first step is to withdraw the Draft EIA 2020 Notification. What is essential is widespread public consultation to shape a national agenda that will place India at the forefront of the battle against global warming and pandemics, she said in the article.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also shared the article on Twitter saying, “Nature protects if she is protected.”
‘Nature protects, if she is protected.’
GOI must stop dismantling India’s environmental regulations. Essential first step is to withdraw the Draft EIA 2020 Notification.https://t.co/8LVBFd99q1
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 13, 2020
“Government of India must stop dismantling India’s environmental regulations. The essential first step is to withdraw the Draft EIA 2020 notification,” he added.
Pointing out that the origin and spread of the global novel coronavirus pandemic and its catastrophic impact are a warning to the entire world, Sonia Gandhi said that the protection of the environment must go hand in hand with promoting public health and access to dignified livelihoods for all.
The Congress president accused the Ministry of handing out clearances during the lockdown without proper public consultations.
“The disastrous Draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), 2020 Notification, which among other provisions, gives a clean chit to polluters violating environmental regulations through ex-post-facto approvals, will unleash unprecedented devastation on our environment.” she maintained.
The Congress chief also alleged that the government of projecting an image of ‘Ease of Doing Business’ to the world, mindless of the consequences.
It formed multiple committees, diluted laws and regulations across the board, and opened up vast tracts of forest land to a select few in the private sector, she alleged.
She also suggested that in times of mass reverse migration, environment protection through public works programmes including afforestation and watershed development can be turned into a grass-roots movement involving youth, women, communities, gram sabhas and non-governmental organisations.
Rahul Gandhi on Sunday urged people to protest the EIA 2020 draft, saying it was “dangerous” and if notified, the long term consequences will be “catastrophic”.
Javadekar has brushed aside Congress leaders’ criticism and termed it as “premature”. He also accused protesting Congress leaders of taking big decisions without consultations during their regime. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar added that the EIA 2020 is only a draft and not a final notification and the ministry has received thousands of suggestions from the public which will be considered before a final draft.