GUWAHATI, July 31 - Opposing the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2020, former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw it.
In a letter to Modi, the senior Congress leader said that not only Assam and the North East, but people from across the Himalayan region, including Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh are greatly concerned about the notification.
“If this proposed draft EIA becomes an Act, it will seriously harm the ecological aspects of the region. The whole world is facing the problem of climate change due to destruction of our natural resources,” Gogoi stated.
He pointed out that the Himalayan glaciers are melting at an alarming rate on account of climate change.
Gogoi added that climate change has aggravated the problem of flood and erosion in Assam and the north-eastern region. He also cited the problem of massive deforestation in Assam and said that it is also one of the factors for the increasing flood and erosion problem in the State.
Gogoi alleged that the provisions of the draft notification, if implemented, would lead to further loss of biodiversity. It would also impact soil health and lead to soil erosion, impact fertility of agricultural soil, result in loss of water resources, decrease ground water level and increase pollution.
“It will ultimately have negative impact on health and economic activities in the region,” Gogoi stated.
He alleged that the notification has given unlimited power to the authorities, which would be harmful in safeguarding Assam’s natural resources. Such arbitrary power is likely to be misused by the big corporate groups, the former Chief Minister added.
“I hope you will give due consideration to the views of the people of not only North East but the entire Himalayan region. I request you to kindly issue necessary instructions to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to withdraw the EIA Notification, 2020,” Gogoi stated in his letter to the Prime Minister.