Tuesday was the last date for stakeholders to submit their comments on the draft.
The draft notification, issued in April, is meant to streamline several environmental clearance norms.
The Court extended the deadline while hearing a petition of the Noida-based environmentalist Vikrant Tongad who sought extension of the timeline given to stakeholders, including the general public, to submit their suggestions on the draft till September 30 or till the time the Covid-19 lockdown is in force.
Many environmentalists have, however, been opposed to amendments in the existing EIA rules as it propose post facto approval for certain projects, doing away with public consultation in case of certain categories of projects while reducing the time period for public consultations from 45 days to 40 days in some other cases.
Calling the EIA notification another nail in India’s environmental coffin, head of parliamentary standing committee on environment and forests, Jairam Ramesh, on Tuesday wrote to environment minister Prakash Javadekar, urging him not to go ahead with the EIA notification.
“I am making one final plea to you not to go ahead with the EIA 2020 notification… You have already emasculated the NGT. Now this notification will be another nail on India’s environmental coffin,” said Ramesh, Congress Rajya Sabha member, in his letter to Javadekar.
Earlier, over 60 University Student Unions, College Environment Clubs, and other Youth Groups from across the country too had jointly appealed to Javadekar not to rush through the EIA notification, underlining that the “current amendments to the EIA would pose a serious threat to the environment and society, giving a free reign to several businesses and destructive industries such as mining and construction.”
In their letter to the minister, they had said, “As citizens of this great country and current stakeholders, we have many reasons to care about our environment. As we emerge from Covid-19, we need to make a choice about what kind of India we wish to live in.
“Our youth have decided to grow up on a land which has thriving forests and clean rivers, a balanced economy that places importance on sustainability and communities, and a system of policy-making that promotes dialogue with the citizens of India.”