“How can a draft notification be protested? It’s still a draft”, he states.

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday said some critics of the proposed Environment Impact Assessment (EIA 2020) notification were indulging in needless protest.

“How can a draft notification be protested? It’s still a draft. We’ve received several suggestions after soliciting comment for nearly 150 days as opposed to the norm of 60 days. We will consider these and after that a final notification will be prepared”, he said on the sidelines of an event organised by the Ministry to commemorate World Elephant Day (August 12).

Also Read | EIA draft must be withdrawn to stop ‘environmental destruction’: Rahul

Several Congress leaders, including Jairam Ramesh and Shashi Tharoor, have condemned several aspects of the draft notification and former party president Rahul Gandhi on Monday said the aim of it was a “clear loot of the nation” and that it was “another terrible example of what the BJP government has been doing for the ‘friends’ of the suit-boot who had robbed the resources of the country”.

While not mentioning Congress leaders directly, Mr. Javadekar accused the critics of organising “agitations” when the draft had opened up several suggestions for public consultation when those same clauses had been passed by the previous United Progressive Alliance without a wider public discussion.

Mr. Javadekar had aired these views last week via a letter to Mr Ramesh, when the latter had written to him pointed to several clauses in the draft notification that were problematic.

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