Unsettled situation of Environmental Impact Assessment in India by Zainub @LEXCLIQ

“If growth is not sustainable because we are destroying the environment and using up scarce natural resources, our statistics (GDP) should warn us; it is clear that something is fundamentally wrong with the way we assess economic performance and social performance.”                                                                                 – Joseph Stieglitz

Environmental Impact Assessment ( EIA) is a method that analyses the potential environmental consequences of a planned project or development, taking into account the beneficial and negative interrelated socio-economic , cultural and human health impacts. The Notification 2020 draught Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) has left both environmentalists and well-meaning economists concerned.


  1. Public oversight is undermined by a range of public irrigation programs, extensive area development, inland waterways, etc., or those involving ‘other strategic considerations’ as decided by the Centre. While these specified projects would require prior environmental approval from the Ministry, no information in the public domain relating to those projects is required. In the 1972 Stockholm Declaration, openness was undermined to be the basis of any climate debate by the 1992 Rio Declaration. The government could keep any project out of any public scrutiny under the guise of ‘other strategic considerations’. Undefine a fresh draught


  1. This cardinal principle of prior environmental clearance is eliminated by the new 2020 notification and allows post-facto regularisation of environmental breaches by paying penalties as long as the project is legal in the region. It fights against the ‘precautionary principle’ on the basis of India ‘s environmental outlook. Any movement from the ‘polluter-pays-principle’ to the ‘pollute-and-pay’ concept will wreak havoc. This window was not available until now in the 2006 notification

3.Our attempt to increase our ranking in the “ease of doing business” index could irrevocably damage our climate in the long term.


4. The new law also aims to identify such areas as ‘economically disadvantaged areas’ on the advice of MOEF&CC, which will then be excluded from the scope of compulsory environmental and other clearances.


5. The 2016 CAG study, which exposed significant inadequacies in third-party agency monitoring, did not pay any attention to the draught notification.


This draft would come as an embarrasement for the country at international level. India infact was ranked 177 out of 180 countries in the last released Enviroment Performance Index, 2018. this draft is increasing the enviromental clearance for irreversible damages, which will adversely affect the climate.

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