Just receiving an environmental impact assessment (EIA) clearance does not mean that a project has received approval as there are several other steps to fulfill, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said in the Assembly today during a discussion about the new EIA rules and its potential relation to uranium mining in the state.
Sangma was responding to a Question Hour query by Nongpoh MLA Mayralborn Syiem, who inquired about the stand of the government on mining uranium. The Congress legislator alleged that the draft EIA rules are an attempt by the central government to weaken environmental regulation and silence affected communities.
“The draft seems to favour industries and seems to neglect the balance between sustainable development and environmental protection, where projects can be undertaken without clearance under the EIA 2020. This is anti-people and anti-environment,” Syiem said.
In response, the CM said, “When we have projects there are multiple clearances we require, so it is not that when somebody gets environmental clearance they simply start the project.”
Any project will also have to adhere to mining safety issues, the Land Transfer Act, requirements of the district councils, he added.
The government will protect the interest of the people and the state, the CM asserted.