Guwahati: Former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi raising his opposition to the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification 2020 wrote a letter to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and requested him to withdraw it.
The Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change had called for suggestions and objections to the draft by August 10, after which it is to be notified.
The draft faced sharp criticism, with environmental experts pointing out dilution of safeguards against rampant infrastructural development without necessary checks for environmental protection.
In a letter to the PM, Gogoi wrote, “If this proposed draft EIA becomes an Act, it will seriously harm all ecological aspects of the region.” He added that besides Assam and the entire northeast, the Act will impact adversely in the entire Himalayan region.
“This notification has given unlimited power to the authority to take any kind of steps which will be harmful to safeguard our natural resources. Such arbitrary power is likely to be misused by big corporate groups,” the former CM added.
Earlier, Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Assembly Debabrata Saikia too wrote a letter to Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar asking for scrapping the draft EIA notification in its current form.
Saikia in his letter had pointed out that the proposed law is objectionable primarily because it paves the way for ‘posto-facto’ clearance of projects in eco-sensitive zones and sidesteps input by communities likely to be adversely affected by such projects.
“This is a travesty of natural justice and a body-blow to the rights of indigenous people over their own land,” Saikia wrote.