The Pandemic Year: Reforms and amendments

A five-part series as India marks a year of the dreaded COVID-19 lockdown: We look at environmental legislation in this part

By DTE Staff
Published: Friday 26 March 2021

During the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown, the Government of India changed two pieces of very important environmental legislation. The first was the Environmental Impact Assesmment notification and the second was on coal mining.

Both these legislations happened without any public consultations or public dialogue. The first legislation created a new category of industries that did not require public consultation before they were set up.

The legislation on coal mining automatically renewed the leases of coal mines without the requirement of forest clearance. This was particularly dangerous and damaging because most of the coal mines were under forest and some of them under the best forests of the country.

In this freewheeling conversation, Raju Sajwan, senior correspondent of Down to Earth (Hindi) speaks with Down to Earth correspondent Ishan Kukreti, on why the government changed these laws in a hush-hush manner and what it would mean for the environment of the country.  

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