Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry(GCCI) jointly with The Gujarat Dyestuff Manufacturers Association (GDMA), DMAI, FICCI, CII, ASSOCHAM, GCA, GPA and GSPMA, had arranged a Brain-Storming Webinar on Draft EIA Notification-2020 by MoEF&CC, New Delhi on 12/06/2020 at 03:30 p.m.

Shri Durgeshbhai Buch, President, GCCI delivered the welcome speech and welcomed all the Panel Members, Shri Yogeshbhai Parikh, Chairman, Environment Committee, GCCI, Office Bearers of GCCI and all the participants from the Industry. He then  gave a short background on the Subject. Around 300 participants had joined the Webinar.

Thereafter Shri Yogeshbhai Parikh, Chairman, Environment Committee and President, GDMA took over the Chair and welcomed Shri Sarath Kumar Pellarla, Director – IA Policy Division, MoEF&CC, New Delhi, Shri A. V. Shah, Member Secretary, GPCB, Shri B. R. Naidu, Ex. Regional Director, CPCB, Shri A. A. Dolti, Shri J. K. Vyas, Ex. Senior Environmental Engineer, GPCB and Shri Anilbhai Jain, Jt. Vice President, GDMA for the technical presentation and discussion.

While addressing the keynote Shri B. R. Naidu, Ex. Regional Director, CPCB suggested that most of the Common Environment Infrastructure are within Notified Area and meant for betterment of the environment. Hence they may be exempted for the long procedural requirement of Environment clearance. He raised the issue of shortcoming of Hazardous Waste disposal site as the proposals for TSDF are not getting cleared due to mass protest during the public hearing as the public are not aware of the project and misguided by malafide interested people. He suggested that as per provision of Hazardous Waste Rule, Govt. has to identify the land and notify for the purpose of TSDF. He informed that the concept of EC was for site clearance only when it was published in the year 1994, but now it is proposed to handle all issues of prior and post EC by the EC committee. He expressed his deep concern that Drafting Authority of EIA is trying to create a parallel body to State Pollution Control Board. He also objected very promptly about the concept of encouraging “ZLD” Zero Liquid Discharge for Chemical Industry, wherever CETP is available.

Shri A. A. Dolti Ex. Senior Environmental Engineer, GPCB made a power point presentation on behalf of GCCI and informed that we have analyzed the data available on website of MoEF and SEIAA which shows that @ 68% of EC applications are made from Gujarat. He also stated that Gujarat is a chemical hub, as per the approach of sustainable development of GPCB, we are also first in providing maximum nos. of Common Environment Infrastructure in the Nation. He welcomed the draft EIA Notification on behalf of GCCI but also raised the concerns which are hurdles to “EASE OF DOING BUSINESS”. He remarked that as per the proposals, EC Committee will deal not only EC cases but also subsequent issues like EC amendment, non-compliance, violation, Heavy penalty, closures, disconnection and even amendment in any minor change in EC conditions. He suggested that EC should be issued once as a site clearance and all amendments should be left to respective State Pollution Control Bards. He brought to the notice that the State Board is already performing these cases as proposal through Draft Notification. He specially mentioned that project covered under category “B” shall be exempted from requirement of Environment clearance which will enhance the idea of “ATMANIRBHAR BHARAT” of Hon’ble Prime Minister.

Shri Anilbhai Jain, Jt. Vice President, GDMA explained the various hurdles which project proponent have to face practically for preparing EC application. He raised the concern about the very high consulting charge, red-tapism and requested to simplify the various application forms and EC conditions.

Shri Shankerbhai Patel, Past President, GDMA raised the issue of very high delay in disposing the EC application and informed that hardly 10 to 20% of applications are disposed within stipulated time and most of the applications are taking more than 200 days and remarked that we do not have good experience of EC Committee, which will be hurdles to the industrial growth of the nation. He requested not to consider impractical suggestions if made by any NGO/malafide interested people.

Shri Sarath Kumar Pallerla, Director – IA Policy Division, MoEF&CC, New Delhi who has the major role of drafting the notification was also present during the webinar. He said that he will put up the concerns to the authority. He made the presentation of the Draft EIA Notification in detail and the criteria considered for such provisions. He explained the procedural requirement of the proposed draft notification in details.

Shri Yogeshbhai Parikh, Chairman, Environment Committee and President of GDMA while summing up the webinar requested Shri Sarath Kumar Pallerla, Director – IA Policy Division, MoEF&CC, New Delhi that we shall compile the suggestions and will submit to you. Kindly consider the same in the interest of “EASE OF DOING BUSINESS” in the Nation.

Lastly Shri Maheshbhai Patel, President of Ankleshwar Industries Association expressed the vote of thanks to all participants with a remark that MoEF&CC may help industries in Post COVID-19 scenario and also assured to maintain good environment.