• Roshni Ali

EIA 2020 : An undemocratic amendment to rape our Mother

The EIA Draft 2020 is that amendment which gives corporates the right to rape our land and destabilizes the local community dependent on it. Citizens will not be able to raise a voice.

I know I am using a strong word like 'rape', however, I feel it befits the situation. The Ministry is entering protected forests bring their corporate friends along, abusing and penetrating the land making it unable to sustain life. That's what rape is.

During this lockdown, our environment ministry was on a spree for clearing vulnerable projects in national parks and protected reserved forests.

The online community raised their voice because they have the democratic right to do so!

Some of the online movements which you might have come across are :

  • Dibang Valley (Arunachal Pradesh)

  • Dehing-Patkai (Assam)

  • Amrabad Tiger Reserve (Telangana)

  • Athirapally Falls (Kerela)

  • Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary (Tamil Nadu)

  • Kakinada Mangroves (Andra Pradesh)

  • Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park (Goa)

There are almost 30 more sensitive projects in the pipeline - however, they have been put on hold due to the public outcry.

But now, the Government has come up with a different diabolical approach - This is the EIA Draft 2020.

What does EIA 2020 do?

Well, it takes away the rights of citizens to raise concern on matters of wildlife and forest clearance. The government will be able to auction the ancient protected forests of India. The new amendment makes it legal for corporates to clear forests and then seek approval from the ministry after the damage is done.

But they are missing a point, it's NOT the government's to give away!

These forests are our RIGHT as citizens of a democratic republic. It's our natural heritage, and home to many tigers, elephants, exotic birds, mammals and lakhs and lakhs of trees.

This Amendment also takes away the right of grassroots communities who are dependent on the forests for their livelihood.

It is grossly undemocratic and is the path for the corporate state.

What's the future of EIA Draft 2020?

The future is that all our national parks and reserve will be taken up by corporate giants for mining and hydro-power. The effect of this is nothing short of disastrous. Our Environment Ministry is playing a double role.

You don't believe me!?

Well, Prakash Javadekar is the Minister of Minister of Environment is also Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises. That's like getting the biggest alcoholic to be the bartender. The irony of the situation is pretty evident.

Commenting on the issue, Sandeep Anirudhan, a Bengaluru-based activist, said, “Our rivers, lakes, forests, all of them will be wrecked. Our air and water sources will be polluted further, our forests will be stressed further leading to more zoonotic diseases like COVID-19. We will have no place left to live. The real need is to strengthen environmental protection. Not just that, the government needs to have a plan for reversing environmental damage, and here we have a government that is hell-bent on worsening the damage.” 

What's the current situation?

The Delhi High Court has extended the date for giving suggestions to the draft EIA notification of 2020 to August 11.

That means, the Ministry will come back to court with more paperwork in August to push for this amendment again!

What can we do?

Raise awareness on this matter and tweet daily. Let them know we are watching!

There are many active groups standing together. It's a time for mass Awakening.

If you think this is someone else's mess to sort then you are part of the problem. It's not going to go away unless we stand united.

It's like the finale from Avatar, large corporates and a corrupt government is at the brink of destroying pristine forests and sacred rivers. We are already headed towards ecological collapse, this will hasten the crisis to an unprecedented scale.

If you need resources to tweet, we got you covered too. You can join the movement just by tweeting. Here is a link to the Green Tweet Army.

You can follow Let India Breathe and keep up with the updates.

You can join Environment Activist Network, India on Facebook and interact with people on this matter.

But, why are they doing this?

There is no time to beat around the bush.

It's time to take the red pill and see what the truth is.

The truth is that our government is working towards setting up an authoritarian state. The government are not here to protect the rights and liberties of the individuals but to satisfy their global corporate masters.

Till I have a fire burning in my soul, I believe holding your ground and standing up for what you believe in --- it is the only way to live.

We are fighting a different kind of war. It's a WAR on our CONSCIOUSNESS.

It's a war for valuing our freedom, protecting our democracy and saving our Mother Earth.

Source | Additional Reads :

You can read the EIA Draft 2020 here




The New Indian Express: 40 per cent of Vedanthangal bird sanctuary to become ‘commercial’?

Economic Times: HC extends time till Aug 11 for giving suggestions to draft EIA 2020

Live Law : Draft EIA Notification 2020- Areas Of Concern

Why environmentalists are urging comments against draft EIA before Tuesday deadline

Plan to revive power project at Baahubali falls poses ecological threat

Kakinada: Environmentalists object to clearing mangroves for houses sites

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Illustration Credit: http://www.greenhumour.com/

(Other images used under Google's Fair use policy)

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