The Environment Impact Assessment 2020: A Visceral Proposal?

Publication Information

Journal Title: Indian Politics & Law Review
Author(s): Prabhbir Singh Mann
Published On: 27/10/2021
Volume: 6
First Page: 286
Last Page: 299
ISSN: 2581-7086
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher

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Prabhbir Singh Mann, The Environment Impact Assessment 2020: A Visceral Proposal?, Volume 6, Indian Politics & Law Review, 286-299, Published on 27/10/2021, Available at https://iplr.thelawbrigade.com/article/the-environment-impact-assessment-2020-a-visceral-proposal/

Abstract

In the last decade, India has been quaking with protests against the various laws and drafts that the legislature has or is in the process to get implemented. One such draft notification that the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change proposed was that of amendments to the Environment Impact Assessment 2006. The Central Government has vouchsafed Environment Impact Assessment 2020 to be more transparent, expedient and rationalized. But quite contrary to the statement by the Government, it has caused an outrage amongst the general public, environment activists, tribals amongst other strata of society including environment lawyers, who worries for the environment, have sent approximately 17 lakhs emails to the Ministry.

The draft has been accused to accelerate the ‘ease of doing business for the industries and to use Environment Impact Assessment against the environment itself. At the first glance, the draft does not look far from what it is being accused of. Clauses and amendments in the new EIA Draft Notification of 2020 do seem to limit public participation and consultation, increase post-clearance compliance and post-facto clearance and also make it a regular norm for industries to violate the environment. The Government at the same time asserted denial to all insinuations against the draft that they have proposed and states otherwise.

The Environment Impact Assessment 2020 draft did not come into the eyes of the public and did not gain much recognition by people as much as other Acts and Bills did, but this is an equally important issue. In this research work, we would trace the existential journey of EIA in India, assess the allegations of public outcry, and analyse the comparison between the EIA 2016 and EIA 2020 Draft Notification. The research used the data from the EIA 2020 Draft Notification, official reports of the Government and the Ministry, news reports, interviews of the ministry to media, a press release by the World Bank and case laws regarding environment and industries, and present an unbiased and true to understanding report. In the end, the question endures that are we really at the tail end of the Environment Impact Assessment in India?

Keywords: EIA, Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA 2020, EIA 2016, Environmental Law

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