EIA ACT AND REALITY
Northeast Today|September 2020
EIA ACT AND REALITY
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is an important process for evaluating the likely environmental impact of a proposed project. It is a process whereby people’s views are taken into consideration for granting final approval to any developmental project or activity. It is, basically, a decision-making tool to decide whether the project should be approved or not. According to the government, the new notification of EIA Act 2020 is being brought in order to make the process more transparent and expedient by the implementation of an online system, further delegation, rationalization and standardization of the process. However, the environmentalist said that the draft will further dilute the EIA process.
Partha Pratim Mazumder

The 2020 draft notification has a clause dedicated to definitions to several terms related to EIA. It may be beneficial in the sense that it consolidates the EIA rules and has the potential of alleviating some ambiguity in the present law. The ministry, instead of reducing the time for public consultation, should have focused on ensuring access to information as well as awareness about the public hearing and its impact upon the whole EIA process. In order to improve ease of doing business, the government should bring down the average delay of 238 days in granting environmental clearance, that emanates from bureaucratic delays and complex laws. Grow now, sustain later should not be the policy, as the notion is dangerously tilted against the concept of sustainable development.

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September 2020