Guwahati: Raising massive opposition against the draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), 2020 and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), the Gauhati University (GU) unit of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has adopted a unique method amid the COVID-19 pandemic to attract the attention of both the Centre and the state government.
Criticising the government for the draft EIA and the CAA, the AASU unit and law college of the university have decided to launch a ‘mail storm’ through which the students will send e-mails to both the Centre and the state to register their protest against the whole issue.
“We plan to send 30,000 e-mails to the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change and also to the state government by today [Thursday] raising our concerns,” said Lakhyajit Das, vice president of Gauhati University Student’s Union.
“We have been trying to put our message across ever since the draft was introduced but we weren’t receiving the desired outcome. So we thought of a different approach,” remarked Das.
On August 1, a group of 40 students posted videos onFacebook explaining the draft EIA and its negative impact. They also requested other students to follow such initiatives and till Wednesday, almost 1,300 videos had been posted in different online platforms from all over Assam, he added.
Students demand that the sentiment of the local people has to be kept in the loop before any step is taken for commercialization and industrialization as exploitation has been rampant in the state under the cloak of development, furthermore the provision of post-facto clearance should be scrapped from the draft.
They also demand special consideration be given to the Northeastern states keeping in mind the rich biodiversity of the region and steps be introduced in the draft to preserve it.
It is also alleged that environmental responsibilities have been overlooked by the Centre. “Preference to industries is condemnable and it has also denied the right of the people to have an open discourse with the government,” observes Monjit Sharma, a Gauhati University student.
Our key objective is to create awareness among the masses on the adverse impact of the draft EIA, says Mrigen Kashyap, graduate of Delhi University who has been equally active in speaking against EIA draft in different online platforms.