Kudos to MoEF sign now

Dear Thiru Raja,

We are very glad to know of the significant and welcome development, in which the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has vide its letter issued on the 9th June 2006, directed the Government of Madhya Pradesh to stop the construction work on the Maheshwar Project being built in the Narmada valley with immediate effect, until a comprehensive Rehabilitation Plan is submitted. It is very heartening to see that MoEF has exerted its powers given to it under Section 5 of the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986 in the right direction to defend our environment and communities against the powerful lobby pushing for unsustainable development for short term economic gains.

We, appreciate MoEF for taking this bold decision against an environmental violation. We earnestly hope that more such action would be initiated against hundreds of other defaulters as well; something that MoEF should have done over the last few decades. We extend our support and solidarity for all such positive actions.

On the other hand, we, as environmentally concerned and conscious citizen of this country, have been very disappointed and disheartened by the recent actions AND inactions from MoEF against environmental violators. The 'economistic' approach of the ministry while dealing with invaluable resources, has contradicted the precautionary principle and the spirit of sustainable development in its true sense. We were further shocked when the MoEF, a scientific ministry unlike most other ministries, toed the line of other ministries such as Finance and Industry, (who consider environmental clearances, safeguards and mitigatory measures as just procedural formalities), and agreed to dilute the laws and make things easier for them. We also witnessed in agony the awful scenario of MoEF trying hard to convince the Industry about the proposed weakened EIA notification. The MoEF's unwillingness to involve larger civil society on other critical matters such as the national environment policy, proposed changes in the CRZ and EIA notifications, and other issues that concern and will impact all of Indias citizens.

Our scarce natural resources are at ever greater risk of exploitation from every quarter. We urge MoEF to stand up against these powerful forces as a scientific and people-oriented ministry, and we sincerely hope that its action in the case of Maheshwar Project is a positive indication in that direction.

We hope our belief and expectations are not out of place.

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Catherine KnappBy:
International PolicyIn:
Petition target:
Thiru A. Raja, Minister, MoEF, Govt. of India

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