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Institutionalising Information Blindspots

Draft EIA Notification, 2020

The Draft EIA Notification circulated by the government proposes to overhaul the framework for granting environmental clearances. While the stated objective is to “streamline” and “rationalise” processes, a closer look reveals measures that go against some of the fundamental principles of environmental governance. In the attempt to expedite the EIA process, the proposed changes compromise the very logic of a decision-making system.

 

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, other policy developments might be easily missed. However, propo­sals are underway to make fundamental changes to the legal framework that is at the heart of some of the most contentious environmental conflicts in India.

The central government has circulated a draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification (MoEFCC 2020), which is intended to replace the existing EIA Notification, 2006. The stated intent of this iteration is to consolidate the ­incremental amendments to the 2006 notification, streamline and rationalise processes, and implement decisions of various courts. However, a closer look reveals measures that do not align with some of the fundamental principles of environmental governance. In its attempt to expedite the EIA process, the proposed changes compromise the very logic of a decision-making system. At a time where the unintended impacts of uncontrolled environmental degradation are felt by every community, a revised system should reflect greater emphasis on strengthening, rather than weakening environmental safeguards.

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Updated On : 24th Jul, 2020

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