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“EIA 2020 draft is disgraceful and dangerous”,says Congress leader Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi: Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Sunday lashed out at the BJP government over its new Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) 2020 draft, calling it “disgraceful and dangerous”.

Mr Gandhi said the draft, which has been placed for public feedback, “could potentially unleash widespread environmental destruction and mayhem across India”.

“The new Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) 2020 draft is not only disgraceful, but it is also dangerous. Not only does it have the potential to reverse many of the hard-fought gains that have been won over the years in the battle to protect our environment, but it could also potentially unleash widespread environmental destruction and mayhem across India,” the former Congress president wrote in a Facebook post.

Mr Gandhi launched the scathing attack on the point of the draft which said the Environment Impact Assessment can be given post facto.

“Consider this: according to our “Swachh Bharat” propagating Government, if labelled “strategic”, highly polluting industries such as coal mining and other mineral mining will no longer require Environmental Impact Assessment. Neither will highways or railway lines passing through dense forests and other eco-sensitive areas, that will result in the massive hacking down of trees, leading to the destruction of habitats of thousands of endangered species. And then this terrible idea: Environment Impact Assessment can be given post facto! That is, ElA can be done after a project has already destroyed the environment,” Rahul said citing an example.

The Congress MP from Wayanad said the draft “seeks to silence the voice of communities who will be directly impacted by the environmental degradation it unleashes”. He urged the people to “rise up and protest against“ the draft.

“Our youth, who have always been at the forefront of every battle to protect our environment, must take up this cause and make it their own. A fight to protect our environment cuts across political and ideological beliefs. If nothing else, the recent Covid19 pandemic has shown us how fragile human life is,” he added.

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