GUWAHATI, Aug 10 - The State unit of the National Students� Union of India (NSUI) today launched a Statewide campaign against the draft notification of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), 2020.
As a part of the campaign, thousands of NSUI members and students across the State today sent emails to the Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and sought necessary amendments to the draft legislation.
In the emails, the members and the students stated that the clause of �post-facto clearance� is against the people of Northeast and Assam.
�The proposed EIA allows for post-facto clearances �meaning, polluting units can be established and their operation can be continued after paying a small fee, thereby incentivizing further degradation. It permits industrial units, operating illegally in violation of EIA and Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986, to become legal by way of a simple procedure and payment of a negligible penalty,� NSUI State president Jyotibikash Changmai stated.
�Also, the EIA draft 2020 speaks about linear projects in border areas. It defines border area as an area falling within a 100-kilometre aerial distance from the Line of Actual Control with bordering countries of India. It means almost the entire Northeast will be covered under it, where there will be almost no public consultation for such projects,� Changmai pointed out.
�The EIA draft is a death knell for the people of Assam. Everything we stood up for, in the past few months, from the movement to save the forests of Dehing Patkai to the oil mining catastrophe at Baghjan, would become meaningless after the new legislation is implemented,� he added.
NSUI State secretary Ananya Saikia said that the civil society of Assam is shocked at the violation of environmental norms by the BJP-led government in order to sanction such illegal projects. Saikia said the student community of Assam stands for its protection, and hence, NSUI has launched a Statewide movement, as part of which students from every college and university of Assam are sending emails to the Union Ministry.
�The entire community wants rollback of this anti-Assamese EIA, which would destroy the future of its people. It was also brought in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis to avoid public engagement on the issue.�
�The Northeast is the most ecologically sensitive area of the country and this legislation brings it under a direct threat of losing its ecological and biological diversity,� Saikia added.