I have a lot of messages from people, officers, citizens and students saying they hope the world will remain unpolluted after the lockdown is over. The rivers are the gleaming, air pollution is cleanest in 20 yrs.
This won't remain. Here are the reasons why. (thread)
The new 2020 Draft for EIAs introduces post-facto project clearance. This means that projects which broke the law (and didn't apply for clearance) can get away with fines. Norms have also been eased for mining, roads, and dredging in rivers and seas. +
Many of these clearances came through video conferencing. Though I'd dearly like to know if we can have some emergency video conference decisions to plan on how NOT to destroy the environment, when the entire world is suffering. +
So while it is nice to wish for clean air, clean rivers, flourishing wildlife, the fact is this can only happen if we take decisions for this, rather than doing the easiest thing: cutting forests, sinking coal ash in Ganga.
Alternatives need tech + thought. They are possible.
In this age, do we need to cut 2 lakh trees to make railway lines, or shall we make a bypass? In this age, does a huge dam which will destroy 2. 7 lakh trees make sense when solar is so cheap and accessible?
If Corona showed us one thing, it is that we don't own the earth alone.
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