Aaditya Thackeray Sharply Criticizes Centre’s EIA Draft Notification 2020

Aaditya Thackeray Sharply Criticizes Centre’s EIA Draft Notification 2020

Shiv Sena leader and Maharashtra Tourism and Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray has raised objections to the EIA Draft Notification 2020 put up by the Central Government, saying that the “unheard voice of mother nature must be heard by the government”, while also adding that the opinions of the citizens, as well as the locals’, also matter. 

Thackeray also wrote to Central Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar saying that this could be detrimental to India’s aim of achieving significant sustainability. He also added that it doesn’t align with the Paris Agreement signed in 2016.

“We need to make conscious efforts to protect our environment with the help of stringent norms, directives, and legislation,” Thackeray said.

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“The environment protection regulatory framework is the only recourse to saving the planet for future generations. It is also realised that the regulatory and bureaucratic burden for the industry should be replaced by contemporary mechanisms, digital, smooth, corruption-free processes. However, while applying these measures, we should not be diluting our reporting frameworks,” the State Environment Minister added.

The centre’s EIA notification has drawn significant criticism from opposition leaders as well as NGOs. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi opposed the draft saying that it dilutes the process of environmental clearances. Meanwhile, the State of Kerala has officially said that it cannot agree to many of the recommendations listed out in the 2020 EIA Draft Notification.

It will be interesting to see if the Centre will make any changes to the draft to accommodate the demands of the opposition as well as environmental conservation groups. Maharashtra is one of the largest polluting states in the country with a majority of the pollution generated in Mumbai and surrounding regions. The consensus among experts in the field seems to be that watering down effective regulations may end up hurting the environment in the long run.   

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