New Delhi [India], October 7 (ANI): Binoy Viswam, Communist Party of India (CPI) Rajya Sabha MP from Kerala, on Thursday wrote a letter to Union Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav requesting him to extend the deadline for the public comments on proposed amendments in Forest Conservation Act, 1980.
The letter was to request the extension of the deadline for public comments on the proposed amendments in the Forest Conservation Act,1980 that have been made public by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
"At present, a mere 15 days time has been given for the same," the letter read.
As a subject matter that directly affects the lives of India's indigenous people and the conservation of extremely vital natural resources, it is essential to extend the deadline for the same, it said.
Viswam said it is also important to note that the Ministry has made no serious endeavour to make this consultation public as there wasn't even an official press release about the same.
Additionally, the proposed amendments are currently only available in English. As you are aware, it is not only English-speaking populations that are affected by the Forest (Conservation) Act and as such the proposed amendments must be made available in at least the 22 official languages as stated in the VIII Schedule of our Constitution, Viswam's letter read.
He further said as a subject matter that directly affects the lives of India's indigenous and tribal population, it is important that local consultation meetings are carried out in areas of a significant population of such a community.
"I believe that these practices must be undertaken for all public consultations proposed by the Centre so as to increase the participation of the public in the democratic process," he said.
The letter stated that the participation of citizens is the bedrock of any flourishing democracy and it is incumbent upon you to ensure that democracy does not remain a mere tagline but is actually realized through conscientious intervention and principled governance.
He urged that the Extension of the deadline for public comments by it minimum of 12 weeks after the proposed amendments have been made available in all 22 official languages. (ANI)