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Withdraw draft EIA notification, 2020, ensure compliance with Dharma

Written By mediavigil on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 | 6:44 AM

To

Hon’ble Members of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA)


Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi

Shri Raj Nath Singh, Minister of Defence

Shri Amit Shah, Minister of Home Affairs

Shri Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways; and Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

Shri D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance; and Minister of Corporate Affairs

Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare; Minister of Rural Development; and Minister of Panchayati Raj

Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Law and Justice; Minister of Communications; and Minister of Electronics and Information Technology

Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing Industries

Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs

Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways; and Minister of Commerce and Industry

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas; and Minister of Steel

 

Hon’ble Members of Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth (CCIG)

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi

Shri Raj Nath Singh, Minister of Defence

Shri Amit Shah, Minister of Home Affairs

Shri Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways; and Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance; and Minister of Corporate Affairs

Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways; and Minister of Commerce and Industry

Through Cabinet Secretary

Subject: Withdraw the draft EIA notification, 2020 [F.N.2-50/2018/IA.III] and defer the process of public comments in the light of the Covid-2019 pandemic, ensure compliance with Dharma

 Dear Hon’ble Members of CCEA and CCIG,

With due respect this is with reference to the 83 page long draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2020 which has been uploaded on the environment ministry’s website amidst an unprecedented worldwide public health disaster caused due to unpardonable and unacceptable neglect towards environmental health in China in general and the unfathomable adverse impact of the Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest hydro power station in Yangtze river basin in particular. The current grave situation that originated in the Himalayan watershed requires adherence to Upanishadic Dharma which underlines the sacredness of nature. The draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2020 is grossly mechanical, materialistic and is contrary to Dharma. Your intervention can set matters right,

We wish to draw your attention towards the following text of Chapter 7, Verse 6, Bhagavad Gita:

एतद्योनीनि भूतानि सर्वाणीत्युपधारय |

अहं कृत्स्नस्य जगत: प्रभव: प्रलयस्तथा || 6||

(Know that all living beings are manifested by these two energies of mine. I am the source of the entire creation, and into me it again dissolves.)

Taking the situation in the Himalayan region and this verse into account, we submit that the EIA notification in question seems to be callous in safeguarding divine nature and Mother Earth in our country unmindful of lessons from China. It requires rigorous examination at your level. Due to the legacy which you have inherited the existing subordinate and structurally weak ministry of environment does not have the resources and competence to ensure preservation of our natural heritage. Western institutions in general and its clones adopted in India have consistently remained insensitive towards nature. For long environmental regulators have been almost defunct and regulations have been empty words because non-compliance with laws to combat water pollution, air pollution and environmental pollution has been norm and their compliance has been and remain an exception.

We wish to draw your attention towards the "2014, Malin landslide, a manmade calamity" (30 July, 2020). The scrutiny of the vulnerability map of transnational Himalayan watershed and Western Ghats reveals that bottom-line obsession of institutions and employee/artificial society have made them fragile and vulnerable. The latter are indifferent towards circular processes. They live in a make-believe world divorced from organic communities and natural heritage. What is referred to as "popular imagination" is a mental construction of a miniscule section of employee society. Beneficial owners of institutions & their wage slaves amplify this mental construction/ narrative of few to give an impression that it is the narrative of the many. Only ancient, organic and vernacular languages seem to have the ability to decode and deconstruct the cannibalistic tendency of immoral beneficial owners and members of complicit employee society. The draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2020 fails to factor in this aspect.

Albert Camus, the author of The Plague aptly said, "Through the curious transposition peculiar to our times, it is innocence that is called upon to justify itself". In the current pandemic situation, it seems he was commenting on the current state of affairs to justify the enormity of outrage in the face of environmental health related lawlessness. Nature is innocent, CCEA and CCIG have a moral and constitutional obligation to defend her.

We submit that the root of the war against our existential natural heritage has been traced to reformation theology that approached nature as a self-enclosed machine, like a structure without any value of its own. As a consequence, a mechanistic and disjuncted world view took control of the scientific enterprise during 14-17 century. Western Christian theology which is the mother of all institutions and body corporates gave up its organic world view and unwittingly adopted regressive mechanistic view using the metaphor of clock and the clock-maker. Anti-nature modern science (besides related institutions and employees) which has endangered the planet and its ecosystem is a legacy of Western Christianity. C. F. Von Weizacker, a German physicist wrote about it in his book "The Relevance of Science" (1964).

We submit that all theologies, theological and cultural institutions which got overwhelmed by regressive and mechanistic aspects of Western Christianity seem to be weaving a popular imagination to the authoritarian war against nature. Authoritarianism against nature is inherently linked to authoritarianism against human populations by the beneficial owners of body corporates. The relevance of theology and discredited scientism in the mutilation of mother earth merits attention as well.

In such a backdrop, it is critical that the environment ministry be persuaded to withdraw the Draft EIA notification 2020 with immediate effect. The draft must be subjected to trans-disciplinary assessment besides rigorous audit of the resource allocations, capacity, competence and performance of the ministry of environment, forests and climate change. Hon’ble Prime Minister may deem it fit to ask CAG to undertake just cumulative impact assessment of the current status of our natural heritage and natural resources before reissuing the draft EIA notification in the post Covid19 situation.

Thanking you in anticipation.

 

Yours Sincerely

Gopal Krishna

Convener

ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA)

Patna/New Delhi

E-mail: krishnaruhani@gmail.com  

Web: www.toxicswatch.org

 

Copy to:

1. Secretary, Ministry of         Environment,  Forests and      Climate            Change (secy-moef@nic.in)

2. Geeta Menon, Jt Secy, MoEFF (menong@cag.gov.in)

3. Official email ID for responses to Draft EIA 2020: (eia2020- moefcc@gov.in)


----

..years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free. -------Eugene Debs, five times Presidential candidate of USA & author of Walls and Bars 

"We may admire what he does, but we despise what he is."-referring to humans who act mechanically on instructions -------Wilhelm von Humboldt, 1792   
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