Rahul Gandhi urges people to protest against EIA

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday lashed out at the Narendra Modi government over its new Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) 2020 draft, calling it “disgraceful” and “dangerous.”

Rahul Gandhi said the draft “could potentially unleash widespread environmental destruction and mayhem across India”.

Rahul urged the people to “rise up and protest against” the draft.

“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,” Rahul wrote in a Facebook post.

The EIA draft been placed for public feedback now.

“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,” Congress MP further said.

Rahul claimed the draft “seeks to silence the voice of communities who will be directly impacted by the environmental degradation it unleashes”.

“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.

“For millions of Indians, already living on the edge, the environment isn’t an abstract term, but a life and livelihood issue. If EIA 2020 is notified by the Government, the long term consequences of the widespread environmental degradation will be catastrophic for us and future generations of Indians,” Congress MP who is a vocal critic against the Modi government policies concluded.