The draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification 2020, currently open for public comments and set to replace the 2006 version, has come under heavy fire from the environmentalists. The EIA notification governs the environment clearance process for industrial and infrastructural projects.
Amruta Pradhan, environmentalist and PhD scholar at Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), Bengaluru in collaboration with South Asia Network on Dams Rivers and People (SANDRP), has studied the new draft EIA in connection with hydro projects and how the government is pushing such projects to ensure a smoother path for industries in securing environment clearances.
“The new draft EIA is a threat to environmental justice,” Amruta told TOI. Up to 25 MW hydro-power projects will be exempted from EIA. Thus, even if the projects have any serious local level implications, they will not be scrutinised.