Parliamentarians from BJP and Congress appear on the same page, demanding the extension of the deadline to adjust the green rules

NEW DELHI: Amid calls from environmentalists to withdraw the Center's draft notice on new green standards, two MPs from Rajya Sabha, one of the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress, demanded the extension on Friday. given to stakeholders for public comment on the proposed changes in Vista of the current situation due to the Covid-19 crisis. The changes to the draft include certain relaxed provisions for authorizations for industries and infrastructure projects.

Both MPs Jairam Ramesh of Congress and Rajeev Chandrasekhar of the BJP separately tweeted their demands for extension.

On March 12, the Ministry of the Environment issued a draft notification (EIA), 2020, and gave interested parties a period of 60 days to send their comments/suggestions in this regard, which at the same time suggested various changes It also proposed having a permanent mechanism for post-facto environmental authorizations for industries that continued operations by violating regulations under existing EIA 2006 rules.

This deadline should be extended another three months, at least due to Covid-19, to allow a better understanding of the main proposed changes, Ramesh, a former environment minister, tweeted.

Within five minutes of Ramesh's tweet, BJP member Rajeev Chandrasekhar also tweeted and urged Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar to extend the deadline that will end this month.

This deserves a good robust public discussion of the proposed changes and their implications, Chandrasekhar wrote.

Retweeting Chandrasekhar's tweet with his comment, Ramesh wrote: One of those occasions where I agree with a BJP deputy.

However, citing several proposed changes to the draft, environmentalists have been demanding the withdrawal of the draft since its publication in March. Few of them even demanded a comprehensive comprehensive law, such as the Biodiversity Law, to review the environmental and social impacts of development projects.

“There are two fundamental flaws in promoting a comprehensive amendment to the EIA notification during the crash. First is a simple and direct problem: the liberties of the public are suspended, so they obviously cannot comment. Internet-based comments are not a substitute for real democratic participation in law-making, ”said Bangalore-based researcher Leo Saldanha of the Environmental Support Group (ESG).

He said: The second most serious problem is that promoting the amendment of a subordinate law, such as EIA notification, which has a direct impact on fundamental rights governed by other laws, such as tribal rights governed by the Rights Act Forestry cannot be the exclusive privilege of the Ministry of the Environment.

Previously, experts from the New Delhi-based Policy Research Center (CPR), including his senior colleague Manju Menon and lead researcher Kanchi Kohli, had also written to the ministry, urging it to withdraw the notice and defer the public comment process. in The Light of the Covid Pandemic-2019.

“Opportunities to understand and discuss the implications of the proposed amendments can be seriously hampered due to the current health emergency with restricted public movement, social distancing, and challenges to activities of daily living. These restrictions also make it impossible to disseminate notification information to communities who deserve to know and influence notification, RCP researchers said in their letter to environment secretary C K Mishra on March 24.