Cong MLA Ampareen urges CM to raise issue relating to EIA

Shillong, Jul 24: Congress MLA Dr. Ampareen Lyngdoh, also the Chairperson for Assembly Committee for Empowerment of Women, on Friday, urged Chief Minister Conrad Sangma to raise issues relating to Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change’s draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification 2020.

In her letter, Dr. Ampareen stated that the EIA notification of 2020 is doing away with public consultation for certain projects which are currently mandatory under the EIA notification of 2006.

“An alarming provision in the Notification of 2020 also provides for ex-post facto clearance of development projects, it is very concerning to see the ministry inserting such a provision when the hon’ble Supreme Court in a Catrina of judgements has held ex-post facto clearances in developmental projects bad in law,” the letter read.

The letter stated that activists and students across the country are protesting the EIA 2020 Notification and their demands include withdrawing amendments to the draft notification, reissuing draft after the pandemic, full disclosure of nature of comments received by the ministry and reasons for acceptance and rejection of these comments prior to issuing final amendments.

“These proposed provisions dilute the letter and spirit of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 on the pretext of ease of doing business and pose a threat to the pristine forests and rivers of our state as well as the communities living near them,” she stated.