Thiruvananthapuram, (Kerala) [India], Aug 12 (ANI): Kerala cannot agree with many of the recommendations of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) draft notification 2020, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Tuesday. According to Vijayan, Kerala has informed its stance to the Central Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) on Tuesday.
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“The draft EIA notification will have far-reaching and adverse effects on our State and a final decision should only be reached after more effective discussions with all parties concerned. In addition to this, some changes are required based on the particular circumstances of the state. This should be examined and be factored in”, the Chief Minister said. He said the state is concerned about the changes mainly related to the mining and quarrying permits. “In the case of B1 medium category, environmental clearance is required for permitting mining/quarrying in an area exceeding five hectares to one hundred hectares. The state wants the lower limit to be brought down from five hectares to be two hectares. That is, environmental clearance should be required when mining/quarrying activities are permitted on more than two hectares. The existing norms will continue for small quarries of less than two hectares,” he said.
Similarly, Kerala has expressed its concern over the reduction in the time allowed for public hearings before approving projects to 20 days in the new draft notification. The state wants it to be retained at the earlier 30 days. “Such a short period of time is not enough in many places. The District EIA Committees were the system for conducting detailed inspections before approving small projects. Apart from this, these district-level committees play a crucial role in handling applications at the state level. These committees are being exempted from the EIA draft notification. Kerala wants to retain the district level committees,” he added. (ANI)