The Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Karnataka Jairam Ramesh termed the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification 2020 is anti-people and anti-democratic as it restricts individuals from complaining against any environmental violations.
Delivering his keynote address at a Webinar on Draft EIA Notification 2020 organised by Dr Marri Chenna Reddy Memorial Trust, Jairam Ramesh said the draft EIA notification has been strongly criticised by environmental and climate change activists across the country. Many campaigns by environmentalists, professors and green lovers, are asking me to write to the Ministry to recognise its potentially devastating impact at a time when we should be focussing on conserving our natural systems.
“Congress party has taken a stand to oppose the draft bill and I happened to ask TRS MP Kalvakuntla Kavitha on their party’s stand on the ‘EIA Notification’, which she could not answer saying that she had to consult her party chief,” said Jairam wondering as to what would be the TRS stand going to be on this important subject matter.
“Firstly this draft bill will fundamentally eliminate all scopes for the public to complain against violations. Secondly, it is anti-public health as environmental issues are being considered no more a separate issue but are connected to public health”, he said adding that it would also anti-democratic federalism as it gravely prevents states from manning their own environmental issues.
Recollecting the late Indira Gandhi’s efforts in bringing environmental laws, Ramesh narrated how he had opposed when the late AP Chief Minister Dr YS Rajasekhar Reddy made state Chief Secretary as the Chairman of an Environment Committee. “I deferred with Dr YSR on this and questioned him as to how a Chief Secretary can become the chairman of the environment subject”, said Ramesh.
Earlier, Congress leader Marri Shashidhar Reddy introduced the subject. Several university professors, environmentalists such as Purushottam Reddy and many others participated in the webinar.