Guwahati: Assamese student residing in the state and other parts across India joined a Twitter storm on Monday evening, for protest against the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) 2020 notification. The hashtags #AssamAgainstEIA and #WithdrawDraftEIA2020 were trending at number 2 and 4 in India trends.
The storm saw participation of students from various educational institutions across India including the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University and Jamia Milia Islamia. From the state, students from as many as 10 universities and colleges took part in the storm.
Supporting the storm, AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said, “The draft #EIA2020 is riddled with issues and it [is] unclear whether it is to save the environment or to destroy it. In the North East, its impact will be disastrous. #AssamAgainstEIA.”
Various environment activists across Assam and the northeast took part in the storm. “Twitter storms like this are necessary as it pressurises the government. It helps us to reach out our [public] voice to the authorities,” said an activist.
All Assamese Students’ Association, New Delhi (AASA-ND) with support from various universities and colleges across Assam and in other parts of India organised the Twitter storm. “This shows that the greatest strength lies in unity. Our motive to make the entire nation hear our voices, has been largely successful,” stated AASA-ND.
The draft EIA 2020 notification—currently open for public opinion—has come under heavy fire by the student community living across the northeast. “The battle doesn’t end here, we have a long way to go together,” added AASA-ND.
Citizens demand that Article 21, Article 48 A and Article 51 (a)(g) of Indian Constitution are complied with. We demand absolute protection of the diverse ecosystems of our nation. @moefcc @PrakashJavdekar #AssamAgainstEIA #WithdrawDraftEIA2020 #NEAgainstEIA pic.twitter.com/CVnGnAh3Rd
— Abhilasha Neog (@AbhilashaNeog) August 3, 2020
“Draft #EIA2020 is regressive, suppresses the voice of masses & facilitates opacity. It is anti-democratic & anti-environment. Its implementation shall have ruinous effect on Assam alongside NE India’s repository of rich resources,” wrote AASU chief advisor Samujjal Bhattacharjya on Twitter.
In a democratic system rules exist to include local people in the decision making. The new draft exempts numerous harmful projects from public consultation @moefcc @PrakashJavdekar #AssamAgainstEIA #WithdrawDraftEIA2020 pic.twitter.com/aZeYit0E9L
— Muzzammil Hamidani (@MuzzammilAap) August 3, 2020
“The draft EIA is against the mother nature and if gets approval, will seriously hamper the environment. It is going to impact the environment across the northeast,” said a Delhi-based student.
EIA 2020 exempts public consultation for construction & area development projects, inland waterways, national highways among others. This is recipe for disaster! @moefcc @PrakashJavdekar #AssamAgainstEIA #WithdrawDraftEIA2020 pic.twitter.com/bGBxQrSB3F
— Leela Borah (@BorahLeela) August 3, 2020
“Northeast India is extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change/crisis. Instead of strengthening the EIA, ironically, the MOEFCC is diluting it,” said an environment activist.
The draft EIA 2020 notification—issued on March 12 by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), replaces the 2006 version, if approved, will regulate the environment clearance for various industrial projects across India.