Thursday, July 16, 2020
 News Details
Environmental Impact Assessment

Through the medium of your esteemed daily newspaper I want to express the same.The Govt.of India recently constituted a State Level Environmental Impact Assessment Authority Jammu &Kashmir and formulated States Level Expert Appraisal Committee to assist the Authority .Environmental Impact Assessment is defined as an activity designed to identify the impact on the biogeographycal environment, on man and well being of legislative proposals,projects,policies,operational procedures and to interpret and communicate information. EIA is a systematic process of identifying future consequences of a current or proposed action .Many states have these authorities and it is probably for the first time such a welcome initative has been taken in J&K State.The objective of the authority is to promote environmentaly sound and sustainable development. In J&K States there has hardly been any prior assessment of various development projects especially in regard to environment. Most of the projects are virtually started on adhoc basis without determing the long term impact of these projects on the environment. This authority is globally accepted as a tool to ensure sustained development with minimum environmental degradation. In Kashmir always the reverse has happened. Many a project have been boost to economic development but these have often resulted in the worst form of of environmental degradation. Example are setting up of cement factories,some electric power projects such high voltage transmission lines through forest involving cutting of tress and so on..Most annoying are Govt construction in the declared flood basin of the River Jhelum.Most of these buildings housing developmental offices and even a hospital were flooded during the disastrous flood of 2014 .It would be very useful if all future projects are first examined by the authority before these are taken up.It would also be a great environmental drive if some of the exist projects are also assessed in regard to the impact caused to the environment. No doubt the creation and commissioning of this authority will give a big boost to the environment protection drive but in order to be effective, the authority should have some over riding statutory powers.Last but not least it is hoped that this aspect has been taken care off.There are already a number of laws and regulations but these have remained on the statute book only because of the absence of any effective enforcing agency.One would have to wait to see how far the authority is effective in protecting environment.Nevertheless the step taken is appreciable and timely.We are highly thankful to Honble Governor of J&K State for creating such agency which needed to be created immediately after 2014 disastrous flood in Kashmir Valley but it's creation after five of flood in valley is also a welcome and heart touching step.
Yours etc...
Mool Raj
R/O Village Bhagota (Panjsoo)
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