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Sonia, Rahul Gandhi seek withdrawal of EIA 2020


New Delhi, Aug 13: Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi on Thursday accused the government of dismantling India's environment rules and demanded that the draft EIA 2020 be withdrawn immediately.

Sonia Gandhi

The draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification, 2020, which involves the procedure of issuing environmental clearances to various projects, was issued by the Environment Ministry in March this year and has received thousands of suggestions from the public. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has said the EIA 2020 is only a draft and not a final notification and the ministry has received thousands of suggestions from the public which will be considered before a final draft.

In an article, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said the government has a social obligation to protect the environment and must withdraw the EIA.

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"Simply put, the government must stop dismantling India's environmental regulations. An essential first step is to withdraw the Draft EIA 2020 Notification. What is essential is widespread public consultation to shape a national agenda that will place India at the forefront of the battle against global warming and pandemics," she said in the article.

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    Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also shared the article on Twitter saying, "Nature protects, if she is protected."

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    "Government of India must stop dismantling India's environmental regulations. Essential first step is to withdraw the Draft EIA 2020 notification," he said. Noting that the origins and spread of the global novel coronavirus pandemic and its catastrophic impact are a warning to the entire world, Sonia Gandhi said the protection of the environment must go hand in hand with promoting public health and access to dignified livelihoods for all.

    On Sunday, Rahul Gandhi urged people to protest the EIA 2020 draft, saying it was "dangerous" and if notified, the long term consequences will be "catastrophic". Javadekar has brushed aside Congress leaders' criticism and termed it as "premature". He also accused protesting Congress leaders of taking big decisions without consultations during their regime.

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