EIA Draft 2020: “Violation of environmental law is seen as development”
Environmental lawyer Ritwick Dutta tells Lounge that the draft Environment Impact Assessment 2020 presumes that projects violating environmental laws do so out of ‘ignorance’
On 11 August, the deadline for public feedback on the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) 2020 notification ended. According to reports, the environment ministry has received at least 17 lakh comments from the public, a record. This has been possible, in part, due to the success of environment and civil society groups in raising awareness about the controversial changes in environment law that the draft EIA proposes. The most contentious of these is the proposal for post facto clearance of projects that have been operating in violation of the Environment (Protection) Act (EPA).