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MyVoice: Views of our readers 14th August 2020

MyVoice: Views of our readers 14th August 2020
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MyVoice: Views of our readers 14th August 2020

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MyVoice: Views of our readers 14th August 2020

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EIA will lead to environmental imbalance

The Central government's new Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) seems to violate basic principles of environment management. In a rush to attract new investments, the government has virtually done away with public consultation in the assessment process and also the use of expert opinion.

Even reports of violations of environmental laws made by affected parties can now be ignored by the government. Penalties in the form of remedial action can be levied by a government agency or a regulator on the basis of a suo moto admission by the project developer that a law has been violated.

It is not clear why developers would like to bring penalties upon themselves. There is a long list of industries exempted from EIA clearance altogether: coal, oil, methane and shale oil to name a few. All these can create heavy pollution and natural destruction. National parks, roads and highway construction have also been given a large leeway to encroach upon the environment. Ex-post facto clearances can be given by the government in such cases.

The document is open to many ambiguities and different interpretations. This can only encourage opportunistic behaviour by business and government alike. In the last few years, more than 4,000 hectares of forest land have been diverted for coal mining. In a grim finding, a World Bank study stated that almost 23 per cent of mortality among children under five is due to environmental factors — of which 12.6 per cent of children pass away due to concerns with water supply, sanitation and hygiene while indoor air pollution claims 9.8 per cent of the children.

Unsurprisingly, the report noted that the damage caused by environmental degradation affects the poor population more. Rich and powerful businessmen will be happy with the new EIA notification. The poor will hardly know what its implications are to their lives. It will improve the ease of doing business, but it will also cause irreparable harm to the nation's future.

Narayan Rao A, Hyderabad

True Muslims follow path of peace, not violence

It was appalling to read the report 'Three killed as police open fire on rioters' (THI, August 13). Violence can never be a means to achieve anything in life. The Quran asks believers to follow the path of peace and non-confrontation under all circumstances. And it is impossible for a peaceful society to thrive in an environment of malice and instigation.

The present-day Muslims must realise that when the Prophet of Islam never adopted the policy of retaliation, under any provocation, it is incumbent on the adherents of Islam to do the same. Meeting expression of views with violent retaliation is completely contrary to the teachings of Islam.

In case someone feels very deeply about an issue, he or she may respond in writing to clarify the misunderstanding. Instead of equipping oneself with weapons and hatred, one should get equipped with logic and reasons to explain the correct perspective. Arabia during the time of the Prophet of Islam was a harsh place – not just geographically but also given the kind of opposition that Prophet and his companions faced.

But none of this deterred the Prophet of Islam from practising forgiveness and compassion. He never followed the policy of reaction or resentment against any form of opposition. The present-day Muslims must imbibe this trait of patience and foster a non-reactionary temperament, for nothing should be allowed to disrupt peace and harmony in the society.

There is no cause greater than maintaining peace and this is what is expected of a true believer of any religion, including Islam.

Farheen Fatima, Santhosh Nagar, Hyderabad

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