இந்தப் பூமி மனிதர்களுக்கு மட்டுமானதல்ல! – சீமான் பேரழைப்பு | #TNRejectsEIA2020 |

66

பேரன்புக்கொண்டு நான் பெரிதும் நேசிக்கும் தாய்த்தமிழ் உறவுகள் அனைவருக்கும் என் அன்பு வணக்கம்!

நாம் வாழ்ந்து கொண்டிருக்கின்ற இந்தப் பூமி மனிதர்களுக்கு மட்டுமானதல்ல; இது உலக உயிர்களின் உயிர் உடைமை! பல கோடிக்கணக்கான உயிர்களின் உலகம் இது; உயிர்கள் வாழ்வதற்கு வாய்ப்பற்ற பூமியாக இதை மாற்றிவிட்டார்கள்; வேறு கிரகங்களை நோக்கி படையெடுங்கள் என்கிறார் ஸ்டீபன் ஹாக்கின்ஸ். இங்குப் பல நாசகார நச்சுத்திட்டங்களை, தொழிற்சாலைகளைக் கொண்டுவந்து நிலத்தை, வளத்தை, நீரை, காற்றை, உணவை எல்லாவற்றையும் நஞ்சாக்கி விட்டார்கள். இச்சூழலில் வருங்காலத் தலைமுறை பிள்ளைகள் வாழ்வதற்கு வாய்ப்பான பூமியாக இதை வைத்துவிட்டுப் போகவேண்டும் என்கிற பேரார்வத்தில் நாம் போராடிக் கொண்டிருக்கிறோம். இதில் குறிப்பாக நாம் தமிழர் – சுற்றுச்சூழல் பாசறையினர் பெருமுயற்சி எடுத்து அரும்பணியாற்றிவருகிறார்கள். EIA2020 – சுற்றுச்சூழல் தாக்க மதிப்பீட்டு வரைவு அறிவிக்கை, சூழலியல் பாதுகாப்புக்கு நேர் எதிராக இருக்கிறது என்பதால் அதை நாம் எதிர்க்கிறோம். நாம் எல்லோரும் சுற்றுச்சூழல் பாசறை முன்னெடுக்கும் மின்னஞ்சல் பரப்புரையில் இணைந்து நமது எதிர்ப்பினைப் பதிவு செய்வதன் மூலமாக இந்த வரைவு சட்டமாகாமல் தடுக்க வாய்ப்பிருக்கிறது. மேலும் #TNRejectsEIA2020 எனும் குறிச்சொல்லைப் பயன்படுத்தி சமூக வலைத்தளங்களிலும் நமது கருத்துகளை, எதிர்ப்பைத் தெரிவிப்போம். கீழேயுள்ள மின்னஞ்சல் இணைப்பைச் சொடுக்கி உங்கள் பெயரை பதிவு செய்து மின்னஞ்சல் அனுப்புவதன் மூலம் சட்ட வரைவைத் திரும்பப்பெற வைக்கும் இப்பரப்புரையில் பங்கேற்போம். இது நமது கடமை; நாம் அனைவரும் தவறாமல் இதைச் செய்ய வேண்டும் என்று அன்புடன் வேண்டுகிறேன்.

நன்றி!

வணக்கம்!

நாம் தமிழர்!
– செந்தமிழன் சீமான்
தலைமை ஒருங்கிணைப்பாளர்
நாம் தமிழர் கட்சி

சுற்றுச்சூழல் தாக்க மதிப்பீட்டு அறிவிக்கைக்கான புதிய வரைவைத் திரும்பப்பெறுக! – சீமான்

To Protect Our Environment, Let’s Join Together to Seek Withdrawal of Draft EIA Notification, 2020! Please Follow This Email Link: https://tinyurl.com/drafteiawithdrawal/

Email Campaign Format: 

To,

The Secretary
Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change,
Union Government of India, Delhi.

Respected Sir,

Seeking Withdrawal of the Draft Environment Impact Assessment Notification -2020 reg.

The above-mentioned ministry has proposed amendments to the existing Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2006 through Draft EIA Notification, 2020. The proposed notification will destroy the process of environmental protection and affect the environment, which cannot be restored, also makes it easier for the corporates to get unjust environmental clearances for their projects.

Hence, as a responsible citizen, I oppose the Draft Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2020, and request you to withdraw the same. Amidst the pandemic situation, it is improper to take decisions that will have an irreversible negative impact on the environment. However, the Union Ministry is keen on making changes in the procedures specified in the notification and granting unjust clearances. It is evident from the fact that over 30 projects, located in some of India’s most biodiverse forests have been cleared in a hasty manner or taken up for clearance in online meetings during the lockdown (April 23). Site inspections are a crucial component of project evaluation and difficult during a pandemic; Ministry appears to be relying only on digital documents uploaded by the project developers.

Even more surprisingly, these projects have been cleared at a time when COVID-19 has revealed dramatically how serious implication of the loss of forest land and biodiversity can increase zoonotic diseases. Environmentalists have also raised their voice and wrote to the MoEFCC regarding how forest and environment clearances were being granted across India during the lockdown. On that note, shockingly, the Ministry has put out a draft notification for public comments amidst global economic and public health crisis when there is restricted public movement.

Major Issues:

  • The new amendment poses a serious threat to the environment and there are some areas of concern like granting post-facto clearances to Industries and leaving aside them with penalty alone in case of any violations. For several projects, the whole process of EIA is made simpler and fails to meet the standards of basic environmental protections.

    However, in an order on April 1, the Supreme Court held that “ex-post facto environmental clearances” are contrary to law. It said: “Environment law cannot countenance the notion of an ex-post facto clearance. This would be contrary to both the precautionary principle as well as the need for sustainable development”.

  • Public hearing process has been exempted for many industrial projects (those manufacturing acids, paints, fertilizers, pesticides, etc.) located in Notified Industrial Zone, this will create serious problems in areas that depend entirely on ground and river water for agricultural usage. Public consultation has also been exempted from a list of linear projects.

    Projects such as roads and pipelines in border areas will not require any public hearing. The ‘border area’ is defined as “area falling within 100 kilometers aerial distance from the Line of Actual Control with bordering countries of India” that would cover much of the Northeast States, the region with the country’s richest biodiversity. Moreover, exemption from public hearing goes against International environmental law and agreements.

  • Increased validity of the environment clearance for Mining Projects and River Valley Projects from 30 years to 50 years and 10 years to 15 years, respectively, increases the risk of irreversible environmental, social, and health hazards on account of the project remaining unnoticed for a longer period.
  • Through the draft, it is enough for the industries to provide an annual environmental compliance (EC) report rather than half-yearly reports. Past experiences show that industries have continued to provide data that are fabricated and inaccurate. Seeking an EC report once in a year provides an opportunity for the industries to further underestimate any socio-environmental issues arising out of their projects.
  • The Public consultation process is very much diluted. The period for the public to submit their views and responses during a public hearing for any application seeking environment clearance has been reduced from 30 to 20 days. It is aimed at denying the proper opportunity to record the objections of the people belonging to neighboring of the areas. The various provisions of the draft are aimed at facilitating the government’s doctrine of “ease of doing business”.

Hence, we would like to reiterate that it is our and future generations that will be a victim of the devastating effects of these twisted and diluted procedures like the new EIA draft. In this age of high pollution levels in our cities, we need to strengthen the EIA Notification, 2006 instead of allowing amendments that will dilute the rules and encourage environmental degradation. The current draft lacks understanding of the adverse effects of activities like disturbances in eco-sensitive zones, extensive mining, etc.

The draft notification was released on 23rd March, 2020, surprisingly right before the day of nationwide lockdown. There has been no wide publicity given to the same except being uploaded on the website. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a time to stay safe and protect oneself. Hence, the government must understand it is not the right time to make amendments in EIA Notification for its aspiration of doing business.

I sincerely hope that the MoEFCC will encourage informed public participation as committed through Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration and the Principle of Natural Justice. The amendment of environmental-friendly EIA Notification can be used to bring India out of the COVID-19 pandemic as an environmentally aware country through a green recovery that strengthens the role of environmental and social protection of all people and nature instead of justifying the present forms of harmful development. Therefore, I request you to immediately withdraw the Draft EIA Notification, 2020.

Thanking you,

Yours Sincerely,

[Your Name][Place][State]