The draft EIA notification, published on March 23, 2020, aims to bring significant changes to the environment clearance process for all infrastructure projects in the country.
The ministry had invited suggestions from public within 60 days from the date on which copies of the draft notification were made available to the public.
In its official statement, the ministry said the public opinions and suggestions will now be invited and considered till June 30. The deadline initially was May 22.
"The Ministry is in receipt of several representations for extending the notice period expressing concern that the draft EIA Notification 2020 was published during the lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Therefore, the ministry after due consideration, deems it fit to extend the notice period up to June 30, 2020.
"Any person interested in making any objections or suggestions on the proposals contained in the draft notification may forward the same in writing for consideration of the central government before June 30, 2020 to the secretary, ministry of environment," the ministry said.
The nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25 and has been extended till May 17.
Congress leader and former environment minister Jairam Ramesh had on May 1 said that the deadline for public comments should be extended considering it was the lockdown period.
"On March 23, Prakash Javadekar put out a draft EIA notification 2020 giving 60 days for public comments.
"This deadline should be extended by three months at least due to COVID-19 to enable better understanding of the changes proposed," Ramesh had tweeted.
According to environment experts, the EIA notification 2020 proposes a number of relaxations for infrastructure projects which have violated the EIA 2006 norms.
An online petition signed by over 11,000 signatories, has also urged the ministry to withdraw the notification and bring a fresh one once the lockdown ends. PTI AG TDS TDS
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI