Welfare Party of India labelled the New draft EIA 2020 as anti-environment & anti-people and said it will pave way to regularise environmental violations and demanded it to be rolled back.

 National President of Welfare Party of India Dr SQR Ilyas wrote a letter to Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Mr Prakash Javedekar demanding that the new draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) 2020 to be rolled back and said that the proposed Bill is dangerous as it allows projects without safeguards to enable ease in doing business and granting post-facto clearances to Industries and merely imposing fines in case of any violations thereby endangering the flora fauna and human life and grossly neglecting the delicate balance between sustainable development and environment protection.

He said the new bill draft exposes the mindset of the government that the Environmental regulations are an unnecessary regulatory burden and not an essential obligation to meet the health and welfare of the people.

He said the new draft bill seeks to strengthen discretionary power of the government, weakens the public consultation process, exemption of certain category of projects from getting clearance, exemption of public hearing, reducing the duration of public hearing, ratification of industries/ projects already running for decades without clearance are some of the major concerns in the new draft bill which not only threatens inclusiveness, transparency, accountability and participatory democracy but also violates International environmental laws and agreements.

He said it is shocking that the Ministry has put out the new draft bill notification for public comments amidst covid pandemic and said the changes in the new draft bill will have direct impact on the large number of marginalized sections of the society comprising of tribals, farmers and fishermen who live in close proximity to nature, whose lives and livelihood are exposed to greater risk.

Dr Ilyas concluded by saying that government needs to bring laws that will be people and environment friendly reduce high pollution levels, protect ecology and save it from further exploitation due to man’s greed.

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