Expert committee to look into draft EIA recommendations

In view of the many suggestions received by the Centre regarding the draft EIA notification, it decided to create a separate committee to look into the suggested changes.


The Minister of State (MoS) in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) on September 18 said that an expert committee will look into the suggestions for the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification.

“An Expert Committee under the chairmanship of Dr. S.R. Wate, former Director, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) has been constituted for review/deliberation on the comments and suggestions received on the draft Environmental Impact Assessment Notification,” said MoS Babul Supriyo.

Moreover, he said that the Kerala government recommended important changes to the policy such as the classifying minor mineral mining with lease area of 2 hectares to 100 hectares under the B-1 category. Moreover, mining with lease area of less than 2 hectares can be delegated to the District level Environmental Impact Assessment Authority (DEIAA) rather than State level Environmental Impact Assessment Authority, said the State. The Kerala government also asked for restoration of the 30-days-notice period for public hearing and retention of the DEIAA and the DEAC (District Expert Appraisal Committee.)

The draft notification has been criticised by many environment protection organisations and activists who claimed that it weakened the environmental regulations and laws in India. Most notably the draft has received criticism for its pro-corporate revisions. Three environment websites who were bringing this issue to the forefront were also blocked by the government in July.

Supriyo said that the draft EIA was published in the Official Gazette on April 11 for comments from the public until August 11. Several suggestions were received from stakeholders across the country including from State Government and Union Territory administrations.


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