The 2020 EIA draft 2020 is problematic because of the following:
EIA covers all those activities which are potentially dangerous to our already fragile ecology and landscape.
The 2020 draft of EIA allows Post-Facto Clearance meaning factories and other such establishments can set up shop without EIA clearance and can later pay a fine to cover up.
A huge list of projects called’ strategic’ are clearly exempted from taking any kind of EIA clearance. This also means that these projects will not be open to public scrutiny.
Strangely violations to the draft can only be represented by government officials and not citizens. Public consultations help the general public to understand the ecological footprint of any project, it gives them time to be partners in the developmental process. The inability to study and understand a project can lead to disastrous consequences. The time duration for public consultation in the new draft has been reduced to 20 days from 30 days.
If you don’t agree please take a look at some of the recent news items. Understanding Climatic change is not just about opposing Greta Thunberg, it is about what you and I can do to make our living not a burden to the planet!
*Only 750 quarries have permission; 5924 quarries active in state Kerala had experienced 115 earthquakes in the years between 1983 and 2015. Among them…
*LG Polymers: South Korean CEO held over fatal India gas leak
We can as a people continue to keep mum about the devastation in Assam and other north eastern states but recent history and the pandemic tells us meddling with nature has disastrous effects. Unless public pressure is built on the government bodies there is no way ahead for sustainable development. That is the reason why we should know of the public policies that are being laid out.
In the above article published on Medium Marucio Mejia argues how citizen participation has improved governance and brought about a digital democracy in Iceland.
Technology penetration in India is very high and so is the use of digital medium for communication. It is time that these communication channels are used for creating better awareness and improving citizen participation in the governing process.