On March 11, WHO declared Coronavirus as a worldwide epidemic, on March 12 the ministry of environment, Forest, and climate change released the Environmental assessment draft 2020. The fact that the draft was released immediately after the declaration of epidemic makes up a convincing case for the argument that the government might be trying to use this epidemic as a blanket to get away with the modified environmental assessment which seeks to replace EIC 2006.
EIC 2006 or Environmental Impact Assessment 2006 is an evaluation process for the environmental impact of undertaking a project. It decides whether a project should be approved or not depending upon the cost and benefits of it, including the ecological and cultural costs. Furthermore, in the spirit of democracy and the Rio summit, the general public is made a part of it by considering their take.
The new draft which came out in March 2020 seeks to dilute the environmental responsibility of the industries and give them freeway to bypass regulations or get away with violations by legitimizing them. This comes as a shocking step, especially considering the current circumstances where the world is grappling with a disease that has brought the strongest of nations to its knees.
All because of our unnatural and thoughtless exploitation of animals for fulfilling the limitless gluttony of the people. In such a state, we are more than ever becoming aware of the interconnections between the environment and us. Peaceful co-existence without disturbing these intricate connections is becoming a widely accepted and supported idea. This draft is indeed a step backward and is leading us towards more environmental disasters.