The 'redesigned' draft proposed by the Center on the rules of ecological cleanliness makes environmentalists look red, activists to act in court

NEW DELHI: Preparing A Key Proposal For The New Government, The Union's Environment Ministry Decided To" Redesign" Its Existing Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification And Present A Completely Renewed One When Considering Several Amendments That Are Based On The Experience. Won By The Authorities During Its Implementation Throughout The Years.

The Notification Of Existing EIA, Issued In 2006, Currently Regulates Ecological Authorization For All Types Of Projects: Mining, Thermal, Hydroelectric, And Country-Wide.

In Order To Submit A New EIA Notification, The Ministry Had Issued A Proposed Version Last Month, Called" Zero Draft," And Requested Comments From All States And From The Pollution Control Boards In Question Mid-May.

Yes Well The Officials Said The Measure Was Mainly Aim To Present A New Notification Considering The Substantial Changes It Had Experimented Throughout The Years During The Implementation Of The Relevant Laws, The Environmentalists Seen It As A Measure To Dilute Various Standards Greens In The Present Name The Government's Motto Of 'Easy To Do Business'.

" In Doing So, The Ministry Is Clearly Trying To Recover All Of Those Amendments That Were Annulled Or Suspended By Various Courts Or By The National Green Court (NGT)," Said Environmentalist Headquartered In Noida, Vikrant Tongad.

Pointing Out How The Proposed EIA Notification Will Lead To A Complete Dilution Of The Ecological Standards In The Minor Minerals Construction () And Construction Sectors, Said:" Many Changes Are Destined To Benefit Builders And Industries In The Name Of" Ease. To Do Business" ." We Will Go To Court Against Such Attempts To Dilute Green Rules" .

The Draft Sets Rules That Allow District-level Authorities, Led By The District Magistrate, Request Public Hearing Exemptions (consultations) And Grant Green Space For Sand Extraction In Up To Five Hectares Land Areas. Similarly, It Proposes To Exempt Irrigation Projects That Have Less Than 2,000 Hectares Of Commando Area And Industrial Projects That Deal With Non-toxic Chemicals From The Environmental Impact Assessment.

" The Poor Quality Of EIA Reports, Engaged Public Hearings, Rapid Appraisal Processes And Monitoring Of Deficient Compliance Are Some Of The Important Issues Citizens Have Regularly Called To Ministry Attention." Neither Have They Reflected In The Reengineering Exercise Neither The Government Has Deemed It Necessary To Have Larger Discussions To Find Innovative Ways To How These Gaps Can Be Filled," Said Kanchi Kohli, Legal Research Center Policy Research (CPR).

The Other Proposals In The Draft, Which May Cause Environmentalists To Move, Include The Provision Of Online Approval For Project Expansion Up To 50% Of Their Original Capacity. The Draft Also Contemplates The Clearance Of Several Projects, Highway Projects In Border Areas, The Expansion Of Existing Roads And The Expansion Of Existing Industrial Projects Without Additional Land Acquisition, Without Environmental Assessment. In Addition, Projects Of" Strategic Importance Or Defense Or Other Strategic Considerations" Will Also Be Exempt From The Public Hearing.

" It Is Nothing More Than An Exercise To Undo The Restrictions Imposed In The Past On The Ministry Of The Environment By The NGT," Said Ambassador And Chief Of Jiye Abhiyaan, Manoj Misra. He Said:" In Summary, It Is An Avoidable Exercise Unless It Is Carried Out In A Transparent And Participatory Manner."

However, Justifying Its Move, The Ministry Said:" As The Principal Notification Has Undergone Substantial Changes Over The Years, The Ministry Has Decided To Redesign The Full Notification In Accordance With The Amendments, The Office Memoranda And The Circulars Issued Once Upon A Time And The Experience Acquired Throughout The Years In The Implementation Of The EIA Notification" .

In An Office Memorandum On The Subject, Published On April 15, It Was Said That The Draft Will Be Finalized Only After Receiving Comments From All States.