ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Gendered Perspective on Draft EIA Notification

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This is to place MAKAAM’s (Mahila Kisan Adhikaar Manch) strong reservations with and objections against the recently introduced draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) notification 2020. MAKAAM endorses and reiterates some of the major concerns that have been highlighted by several environmental experts and civil society organisations, which are as follows: excluding certain categories of projects from the scope of public consultations irrespective of the socio-ecological damage they might cause; reducing the time frames for public consultations in other categories of projects; legalising post-facto environmental clearances thereby weakening the already shrinking spaces for rural women to participate in and influence decision-making processes; increasing the validity period of environmental clearances, thereby facilitating resource grabbing; minimising the role of the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) due to reduced frequency of submission of EIA compliance reports, although the comptroller and auditor general audit in 2016 had pointed out a low rate of submission of reports by the projects sampled under the audit, across 10 regional offices.

Most significantly, the provision for the post-facto clearance through the “provisional clearance” clause (p 31, pt 15) will encourage a culture of non-compliance, contrary to the interests of environmental protection, as well as encourage a mere payoff for violations, rather than an earlier provision of imprisonment as deterrence against violations (p 30, pt 8).

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