There has been no intimation from the central government yet on the views and suggestions submitted by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification 2020, Umsning MDC Macdalyn Sawkmie Mawlong said today.
The draft notification has garnered opposition from several quarters and for a variety of reasons, but the KHADC is chiefly concerned that it would allow for the mining of uranium without the council’s clearance or public consultation.
The notification allows for certain activities to be exempted from an EIA, including mineral prospecting.
The KHADC has written to the central government to state that the notification should not apply to lands in scheduled areas (which make up the bulk of Meghalaya) and that public consultations should be made mandatory rather than being the subject of exemptions. The KHADC also opposed the so-called ‘other strategic considerations’ that could allow the Centre to carry out mining activities of minerals like uranium without environmental clearances under the jurisdiction of the council.
All permissions for any activity concerning land, forests, rivers, etc should first come from the KHADC, the council’s recommendations said.
“We have also opposed the conduct of data study without prior information and that representation from the council is mandatory during the preparation of the EIA,” Sawkmie Mawlong said. “We also opposed the increase of clearance in mining project of 50 years, including clearance for river valley projects of 15 years, and we have stated clearly that violations of any environmental clearance is liable to punishment through imprisonment,” she added.
She further assured that the KHADC will follow up the matter with the central government again.