More than 15 law colleges and over 1,600 students across India have sent a letter to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC), seeking the withdrawal of the draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) 2020.
The 22-page letter, drafted by the Legal Aid Clinic of Jindal Global Law School, contains suggestions for each sub-clause of the draft EIA 2020 that the students oppose.
In the letter, the students say, “We certainly have a lot to learn from other jurisdictions. On a comparative analysis of EIA regulations in India with countries of the EU and USA, it can be observed that the process in India deliberately limits involvement of public and government agencies in the initial stages and has no provision to account for landscape and visual impacts of a project.”
The students suggest that India should implement an environmental policy that follows the Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration – the right to freely access information on environmental quality and problems, the right to participate meaningfully in decision-making and the right to seek enforcement of environmental laws or compensation for harm.
On June 25, the students, coordinated by Yugma, a web collaboration network, sent an email to the MOEFCC with their concerns regarding the EIA 2020. After not receiving a reply, they sent another letter to the Prime Minister’s Office on June 28. They also filed multiple grievance complaints on the MyGov portal, but these were all rejected.
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