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Javadekar says some EIA critics indulging in ‘needless protest’

Mr. Javadekar had responded to Mr Ramesh, when the latter had written to him pointed to several clauses in the draft notification that were problematic.

Mr. Javadekar had responded to Mr Ramesh, when the latter had written to him pointed to several clauses in the draft notification that were problematic.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday said some critics of the proposed Environment Impact Assessment (EIA 2020) notification were indulging in needless protest.

“How can a draft notification be protested? It's still a draft. We’ve received several suggestions after soliciting comment for nearly 150 days as opposed to the norm of 60 days. We will consider these and after that a final notification will be prepared”, he said on the sidelines of an event organised by the Ministry to commemorate World Elephant Day (August 12).

Also Read | EIA draft must be withdrawn to stop ‘environmental destruction’: Rahul

Several Congress leaders, including Jairam Ramesh and Shashi Tharoor, have condemned several aspects of the draft notification and former party president Rahul Gandhi on Monday said the aim of it was a “clear loot of the nation” and that it was “another terrible example of what the BJP government has been doing for the ‘friends’ of the suit-boot who had robbed the resources of the country”.

While not mentioning Congress leaders directly, Mr. Javadekar accused the critics of organising “agitations” when the draft had opened up several suggestions for public consultation when those same clauses had been passed by the previous United Progressive Alliance without a wider public discussion.

Officials in his Ministry said that nearly 500 people were killed every year in India due to human-elephant conflict.

 

Additional Director General (Forest) SP Yadav said, “There are challenges that we face in mitigating conflict. Elephants are now moving from Jharkhand to Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and even Maharashtra and these create new instances of conflicts between animals and people”. Asian elephants are listed as “Endangered” on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List of threatened species.

This has been done as most of the range states except India have lost their viable elephant populations due to loss of habitats and poaching etc. The current population estimates, as of 2017, indicate that there are about 50,000 -60000 Asian elephants in the world. More than 60 % of whom are in India.

The Minister released a document that contains best practices to mitigate human-elephant conflict as well as various interventions that have been deployed by the States and communities to steer elephants away from human habitations without inviting damage.

“To manage conflicts and avoid loss of valuable lives of both the humans and the elephants, it is important to strengthen the human-elephant coexistence”, said the Minister while releasing a booklet Best practices of Human-Elephant Conflict Management in India during the event.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2020 2:04:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/javadekar-says-some-eia-critics-indulging-in-needless-protest/article32315486.ece

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