Guwahati: Amidst the raging environmental issues like illegal mining and logging in Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve, oil blowout in Baghjan, mega dams coming up in the Dibang Valley which is a global biodiversity hotspot and the highly-criticised EIA draft 2020 notification, the youth of Guwahati, in association with Fridays For Future, came out on the streets to express their concern and create awareness via street art at Dighalipukhuri, banner drop and a climate strike at Beltola, Guwahati, on the occasion of the 6th Global Strike on Friday.
Fridays for Future, Guwahati, a people’s movement, staged a demonstration at Beltola with placards urging the government to pay attention and take effective action on ever increasing cases of environmental negligence, with a number of 17 strikers amidst a pandemic on the Global Climate Strike.
Striker of Fridays for future Shirshendu Sekhar Das, while speaking to EastMojo, said, “Today is the 6th Global Climate Strike, and we see that the MOEFCC has been trying to dilute many environmental laws via new drafts and amendments in eco sensitive areas. Especially during this pandemic, in the NE of India, we saw that Coal India Limited have been mining in a proposed reserve forest since the last 17 years without proper mining lease….. If we don’t stand for ourselves today, our future is doomed and we are here in the streets to raise our concern and send a message to the authorities to take stringent actions against the companies and corporations which are violating environmental laws leading to immense human suffering.”
Fridays for Future in a media release on Friday stated that “People of Baghjan gaon have lost their homes and there seems no hope of respite even after 110+ days of the oil spill. The irresponsible environmental degradation caused by the oil spill cannot be compensated with money and will cost the people of Baghjan years of livelihood loss as they all depend on the Maguri beel, tea gardens and paddy fields for their living. As per the recent interim report by National Green Tribunal, Oil India Limited has committed gross environmental violations to drill and operate the oil wells in Baghjan. In January 2020, the central government amended the environmental laws to change the category of onshore and offshore drilling operations from A1 to B2 which allows the companies to do away with public consultation for environmental clearances. Thus, now the private companies can drill without taking the consent of locals who will directly be impacted by these projects.”
The release further states how the recent Draft EIA 2020 aims to dilute the environmental laws by legalising post facto- clearance and reducing the scope of public consultation for many polluting industries and how the rate at which the industries are emitting greenhouse gases, as per various reports, we might overshoot 1.5 degree between 2030 and 2050, whereas according to a report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2018, the rate should be limited to 1.5 degrees in order to control global warming.
Shivani Goyal, Striker of Fridays for future, while speaking to EastMojo said, “The clock towards human extinction is ticking and we are still busy waking up people. It’s high time that we stand for the self and the co humans, take action instead of debating all around. Make sustainable shifts, hold authorities accountable, stand with the marginalized communities and do the needful but it should be now and today.”
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