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100 + Movements, organisations and environmentalists write to 785 Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs from 28 states and 8 union territories in the country appealing them to take a stand against the Draft EIA Notification 2020 and to demand its immediate withdrawal!

August 11, 2020 | Press Release
For Immediate Release

Dear Friends in the Media,

The Draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification 2020 has received serious criticisms from environmentalists, civil society activists and citizen’s groups since its release on 12th March 2020, even as our country was just about acknowledging the gravity of the Covid-19 crisis. Following this a national lockdown started from 25th March 2020 owing to the pandemic which has still not shown any signs of dying away anytime soon. At a time like this when dealing with the pandemic and welfare of the people should be of utmost priority to the state and when people are unable to effectively engage with the process, the government is instead unleashing draconian and destructive policies and actions, set to overhaul the environmental governance of the country and remove even the existing safeguards and protections.

This draft legislation comes at a time when our country is facing the worst environmental crisis. India has ranked at 179 out of 180 countries i.e. 2nd last on the global Environment Performance Index for air quality in the year 2020. Its general ranking is a dismal 168/180. 14 out of 20 most polluted cities in the world are reportedly in India. As per the Lancet report 12.5% of total deaths in 2017 were due to air pollution. It is not just a matter of figures, but daily news reports showcase the multiple disasters faced by the citizens of the country, either in the form of industrial disasters, accidents, building fires and collapses, floods, draught, forest fires, landslides, human-animal conflict, food and water crisis and such, that indicate the urgent need for strengthening our environment policy to address the crisis of climate change and put to a halt the environment destruction that is rapidly taking place.

We, a group of 100 + Movements, organisations and environmentalists, who are part of a national campaign to oppose the Draft EIA Notification 2020, have over the last week addressed emails to write to 785 Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs from 28 states and 8 union territories in the country calling upon them to take a stand against the anti-environment and anti-people Draft EIA Notification 2020 and demand its immediate withdrawal. As elected political representatives these ministers are duty bound to protect the interests of the people and the nation and its resources, which this draft legislation is bound to adversely impact. We have called upon the ministers to write to the Ministry of Environment Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC) to demand withdrawal of the Draft EIA Notification 2020 and demand instead that a strong environmental governance be put in place in consultation with the people, for protecting the ecology and natural resources of our country for present and future generations.

Some of the major issues with the Draft EIA Notification 2020, which takes the environmental jurisprudence of our country back several steps, are provided in the letter. The proposed draft by allowing for grant of post facto clearances for projects commenced without environmental impact assessment, in effect takes away the requirement for prior environmental clearance. It thereby provides provision for regularizing violating projects which only serves to encourage violators and violations. It also introduces a single step environmental permission for certain projects, which will not have to go through the environment impact process. It expands the list of projects exempted from public consultation. Even as climate change effects are leading to rapid changes in the environment, the period of validity of environmental clearances has been increased. It weakens the compliance mechanism by reducing the monitoring requirement from every 6 months to annually. These and several other grounds of objections that expose the blatant flaws in the draft legislation have been provided in the letter addressed to the MPs (Attached herewith).

Looked at from any angle, the Draft EIA Notification 2020 is detrimental to the environment rather than protecting it. We expect that every minister who claims to love our country, its abundant natural resources and its people will consider the objections and take immediate action to oppose this problematic legislation.

Thanking you,

Concerned Citizens, Peoples’ Organisations and Environmentalists Associated with Campaign to Withdraw EIA 2020

1. Jacqueline Jackson, All Kerala Flood Relief Project
2. Aarey Conservation Group
3. Shaukat Indori, Umar Vohra , Association for Protection of Civil Rights
4. Dev Desai, social activist Ahmedabad Gujarat, ANHAD
5. SOUMYA DUTTA, Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha / MAUSAM network.
6. Bhagat Singh Ambedkar Students Organization, JNU
7. Taniya Sultana Laskar, Secretary General, Barak Human Rights Protection Committee, Silchar, Cachar, Assam.
8. Chennai Climate Action Group
9. Amartya, Collective Delhi
10. John DSouza, Centre for Education and Documentation
11. Chutka Parmanu Virodhi Sagarsh Samiti
12. Chattisgarh mukti morcha mazdoor karyakarta samiti
13. Citizen consumer and Civic Action Group, Chennai, India
14. Centre for Financial Accountability
15. Nityanand Jayaraman, Chennai Solidarity Group. Tamilnadu
16. Alok Shukla, Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan
17. Delhi Solidarity Group
18. Anunya Kasliwal – Fridays for future Rajasthan Chapter
19. Bilal Khan, GBGA and NAPM
20. Himdhara Environment Research and Action Collective, HP
21. Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, Mumbai
22. Shrishtee Bajpai, Kalpavriksh
23. Let India Breathe
24. Manthan Adhyayan Kendra
25. MAKAAM – Mahila Kisan Adhikar Manch
26. Vimal bhai, Matu Jansangthan & NAPM
27. Kailash Mina – NAPM Rajasthan
28. National Alliance of Anti-nuclear Movements
29. Pradip Chatterjee, Convener, NPSSFWI, National Platform for Small Scale Fish Workers (NPSSFWI)
30. National Fishworkers Forum
31. SG Vombatkere, Kusumam Joseph and Meera Sanghamitra, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)
32. Charu Khanna, Pravin Jehangir, Madhuri Variyath, Arundhati Dhuru, Sandeep Pandey, NAPM Mumbai
33. Kavita Srivastava, Nesar Ahmad, Akhil Chaudhary – PUCL Rajasthan
34. Shalini Gera, Rinchin, Rajni Soren, PUCL, Chhattisgarh Chapter
35. Saravanan K, Perambalur, State General Secretary, PUCL TN & Puducherry
36. People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy
37. People’s Union for Civil Liberties
38. Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS)
39. Rinchin, People’s first collective
40. S B Ravindra Ooty, Senior member NWEA, SM retd. HPF
41. Surendra Mohan Bhanot, Pallav Mukherje, Vikas Jain, Rajesh Jain, kns Sodhi, Rajendra Gupta from RTIFED & HRD, ECO FRIENDLY ORG, CONSUMERS CONCERNS, PCSDS PUNJAB AND HARYANA, PUCL PUNJAB AND HARYANA
42. Mukta Srivastava, Right to Food Campaign
43. The Research Collective, Delhi.
44. Swaraj Abhiyan
45. Swaraj India
46. Salma Bawazir, Vadodara, Sahiyar Stree Sangathan
47. Nagraj Adve, Teachers Against the Climate Crisis (TACC)
48. Jarshesh Gai, Khyati Panchal, Vadodara, Gujrat, The Four Legs Charitable Trust
49. Vindhyan Ecology & Natural History Foundation
50. Stalin Dayanand, Vanashakti
51. Youth for Swaraj
52. Yugma Network
53. Rachit Tiwari , Youth For Climate India, Delhi
54. Sushmita, Independent Researcher and Journalist
55. Sukla Sen, Mumbai
56. Azharuddin Saiyed, Architect and Urban Planner, Professor at S.P. University, Gujarat
57. Advocate Lara Jesani
58. Shalini Gera, Advocate, High Court of Chhattisgarh at Bilaspur
59. Geeta Seshu, Journalist, Mumbai
60. Ajeet Mahale, Journalist, Mumbai
61. Advocate Amita V. Joseph
62. Soma KP, independent policy analyst, gender NR and development, New Delhi
63. Ramesh, University Student, Shivaji University, Kolhapur
64. Simantini Dhuru, Film maker and Educationist
65. Sitaram Shelar, Activist, Mumbai
66. Agnes Kharshiing, RTI Activist, Civil Society Women Organization, Meghalaya
67. Hiren Gaandhi, Saroopben, DARSHAN
68. Neha Sarwate, Environmental Planner, Gujarat
69. Ghanshyam Patel , FARMER, Luna, Padra, Vadodara
70. G. Sundarrajan, Poovulagin Nanbargal
And 54 others from the Himalayan region of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir, Ladakh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim, Uttarakhand
71. Tongam Rina, Journalist Arunachal Times, Arunachal Pradesh,
72. Anupam Chakravarty, Independent Journalist, Guwahati, Assam
73. Jeepal Krishak Sharmik Sangstha, Bokakhat, Assam
74. Jayanta Sharma , Social scientist, Assam
75. NEthing Guwahati, Assam
76. Purva Bharati Educational Trust, Jorhat, Assam
77. Subin K S, Foundation for Ecological Security, Northeast Regional Cell, Guwahati, Assam
78. Wave Ecotourism, Tinsukia, Assam
79. Women in Governance (WinG-Assam)
80. Campaign for Socio- Economic Equity in the Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh,
81. Himdhara Environment Research and Action Collective, Himachal Pradesh
82. Jiya Lal Negi, Zila Van Adhikar Samiti, Kinnaur,
83. Kulbhushan Upmanyu, Himalay Bachao Samiti, Chamba, Himachal Pradesh,
84. Kuldeep Verma, People’s Action for People in Need (PAPN), Sirmaur, Himachal Pradesh,
85. Prem Katoch, Save Lahaul Spiti Society,
86. Prateek Kumar, HimRRA, Reviving Rainfed Agriculture Network, Himachal Pradesh,
87. R.S Negi, Him Lok Jagriti Manch, Kinnaur,
88. Subhash Mendhapurkar, SUTRA, Solan, Himachal Pradesh,
89. Tenzin Takpa and Sonam Targey, Spiti Civil Society , Spiti,Himachal Pradesh
90. Uma Mahajan, Himachal Van Adhikar Manch,
91. Dr Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, J&K RTI Movement, Kashmir
92. Fayaz Dar, Mool Sustainability Research and Training Center, Kashmir,
93. G H Kango (IFS Rtd.), Chairman, People’s Environmental Council, Srinagar, Kashmir
94. Dr. Tsewang Namgial, Researcher, Leh, Ladakh,
95. Tashi Morup, Researcher, Ladakh,
96. Jiten Yumnam, Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur,
97. Agnes Kharshing, Civil Society Women’s Organization, Meghalaya
98. Joannes JTL Lamare, Meghalaya Citizens Foundation,
99. Banu Haralu, Nagaland Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation Trust, Dimapur, Nagaland,
100. North East Network, Nagaland,
101. Gyatso Lepcha, General Secretary ACT, (Affected Citizens of Teesta), Sikkim,
102. Anita Paul , Grassroots, Uttarakhand,
103. Bharat Jhunjhunwala, Columnist and Former Professor, IIM Bengaluru, Uttarakhand,
104. Dr Anil Karki, Rahwasi Center, Uttarakhand,
105. Dr Ravi Chopra, Environmentalist, Dehradun, Uttarakhand,
106. Dr Shekhar Pathak, Historian, PAHAR Nainital,
107. Dr. S. P. Sati, Geologist, Srinagar, Uttarakhand,
108. Dr Vandana Shiva , Director , Research Foundation for Science Technology and Ecology , DehraDun, Uttarakhand,
109. Debashish Sen , Seema Ravandale, Anil Gautam and Roshi Rathod, People’s Science Institute , Uttarakhand
110. Hari Ballabh Bhatt, Mahakali Lok Sangathan, Jhulaghat, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand
111. Jabar Singh Verma, Janhuk, Rashtriya Sewa Dal,
112. K Ramnarayan, Ecologist & Educator, Uttarakhand,
113. Malika Virdi and Emmanuel Theophilus, Himal Prakriti,
114. Manoj Matwal, Harela Society, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand,
115. Rajiv Lochan Sah, President, Uttarakhand Sangharsh Vahini,
116. Swami Shivanand, Matri Sadan, Haridwar
117. Shankar Gopalakrishnan, Chetna Andolan, Uttarakhand,
118. Surjit Das, Former Chief Secretary, Uttarakhand,
119. Samir Ratudi, Save Himalaya Movement, Uttarakhand
120. Shankar Kharayat, Mahakali Ki Awaz, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand
121. Shivam Pandey and Mahendra Rawat, Aarambh, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand
122. Soma KP, Independent Researcher
123. Uma Kapri, National Alliance of People’s Movements,
124. Vimal Bhai, Matu Jan Sangathan, Uttarakhand,

Press Release – Letters to MPs

MP letter with annexures

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