(EIA or Environmental Impact Assessment is one of the burning issue in India and entire North East. We are bringing a short discussion on EIA 2020 for our readers.)
Green is our desire. We need a green sheet all around. Greenery is created by a combination of trees and forests. This means that we have a responsibility to protect trees and nature. We all enjoy the beauty of nature. There is an indescribable joy and serenity hidden in the green color of nature which is never found anywhere else.
In one part of India, including the northeastern part, Seven Sisters(Seven North Eastern States) has received a great gift of nature. The northeast is naturally quite sparse. The Northeast retains a large amount of natural beauty. The comparison of North-East India in terms of biodiversity may not be comparable to any other place or the question arises. The deep forest cover of the northeastern region is one of the main reasons for the biodiversity of the region. Biodiversity is an identity for us and we need it to protect the ecosystem of human beings and all healthy living ecosystems.
After the Bhopal Gas Tragedy of 1974, the Government of India enacted the Environmental Protection Act in 1976 to prevent such incidents in the future. One of the procedures for this law is “EIA” meaning “Environmental Impact Assessment”. This process includes coal mining, river embankment construction, power generation, construction of national highways, etc. Before a project is planned by EIA, its effects on nature are studied. On March 23, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change of India issued a notification regarding the new “EIA, 2020” i.e. Environmental Impact Assessment, 2020.
With this new draft EIA issued by the Central Government, the Environmental Protection Act has already been relaxed. This EIA, 2020 draft has a total of 83 pages. There is talk of industrial development but in this case there is the issue of environmental protection. As a result, there is a 100 percent chance of creating an imbalance between industrial development and environmental protection.
In EIA 2020, the government has included a number of environmentally damaging decisions. Any project that has been invalidated or overdue through this newly proposed bill has provided free benefits and legal recognition. The 30-day public hearing facility for any project has been reduced to 20 days. Under the new bill, even if an organization violates the Environmental Protection Act, the public will not be able to comment on it. Only the government can hold the institution accountable. And the most frightening thing about this EIA, 2020 is that no one can object to any project undertaken by the government within 100 km of the border area.
The northeastern part of India is very rich in biodiversity which attracts a no. of tourists to the entire North Eastern region. Some of the world’s endangered birds, animals and plants are found in the forests of this region.
But this EIA, 2020 policy of the Central Government has neglected the biodiversity of the North East. The new EIA, as estimated in 2020, will turn the entire Northeast into a desert. The North East will experience a catastrophic erosion of biodiversity that we can never have imagined. This EIA, for 2020, will lead to the untimely death of the beautiful beauty of the green nature of the North East. Hence, It will affect and lead to complete damage of the Biodiversity of North East.
We would never lost our biodiversity. Everything is worthless without our such rich biodiversity as it will disrupt an ecosystem. This EIA, 2020 is not appropriate for Assam and the North East as it will only exploit resources and plunder nature, which is legitimate! It is also a threat to our very existence. With the loss of biodiversity, human health will be affected and it is easy to predict what will happen as a result.
We must protect our biodiversity otherwise the future of the human race is in jeopardy. We need industrial development but first and foremost we need to balance the environment. Such sustainable development may only be our expectation! The Government is urged to cancel EIA, 2020 for the Northeast as soon as possible and adopt a completely separate and new EIA so that not to harm the biodiversity of the Northeast and to give priority to development.
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