Environmental activists’ petition to the Government of Kerala in the draft notification of the Central Government’s Environmental Impact Assessment 2020. The petition states that Kerala’s response to the notification was weak. Environmental activists including Kavayatri Sugathakumari submitted the petition to the Chief Minister and members of the entire Parliament and Assembly of the state.
There are three main demands in the petition:
1. The State Government should send a letter to the Central Department of Forests, Environment and Climate Change requesting that the notification be withdrawn in its entirety.
2. An expert committee should be announced to bring in a new notification or law to strengthen the existing Environmental Protection Act. The State should ask the Center to discuss the report of the Expert Committee, Parliament, Legislative Assemblies, Panchayats, Gram Sabhas, environmental and social organizations, and the general public and to accept their recommendations.
3. An expert committee comprising of environmental experts and scientists should be constituted as a matter of urgency to formulate the policy of the State Government on the EIA 2020 Notification of the Central Government and to further strengthen the existing environmental laws in Kerala.
About 25 environmental organizations in Kerala have submitted petitions.
We live in a time when environmental crises are seriously questioning the very existence of mankind. Extreme levels of rainfall over the Western Hemisphere and the misuse of land in the Western Ghats have contributed to the catastrophic situation in Kerala and other parts of India. The petition says that if environmental protection and restoration are not given due importance, it will become a grave crime against the next generation. Policies, laws, and procedures need to be strengthened to strengthen environmental protection. Unfortunately, the draft notification of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests is against this.
The draft notification contains provisions that undermine the objectives and dignity of the Environmental Protection Act, 1986, one of the most important basic environmental laws in India. In addition, the notification does not contain any proposal to strengthen environmental protection activities. That is why the public is demanding the complete withdrawal of the 2020 draft notification, the petition said.