MPs divided at first House panel meet on EIA

New Delhi

The first meeting of a parliamentary panel on the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) 2020 on Friday saw sharp division among lawmakers with Bharatiya Janata Party MPs trying to stall the discussion. The MPs said that it was not the appropriate time to discuss the draft.

At Friday’s meeting, ministry officials in a detailed presentation, said that there have been 55 amendments and many court orders on the EIA since 2006, people familiar with the matter said. In the presentation, officials stressed that EIA 2020 is key to ease of doing business and the much needed systematization. The meeting was attended by just 14 out of 30 MPs.

Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar and his predecessor, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, have exchanged a series of letters on the EIA. Ramesh is the chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on environment, forests and climate change and science and technology.

During the meeting, some members welcomed the notification, even as AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi raised 15 questions and some parties, including the DMK, opposed the clauses which seek to dilute public hearings and regularisation of violations.

All MPs stressed on need for transparency, consistency and clarity in the draft rules, the people cited above said.

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