"At the outset, an executive action by way of a 'notification' cannot override the statutory protection granted under the FRA (Forest Rights Act) and the PESA (the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act," Baghel said in the letter.
Therefore, the EIA notification 2020 should be in consonance with the rights of the tribals and panchayats, he asserted.
The chief minister said, "It is also mandatory to consult with a gram sabha/panchayat before acquiring land for developmental projects and resettling project-affected people."
"But, the draft notification completely overlooks this mandate and does not make it mandatory for the project proponent to get any such approval from the gram panchayat which grossly violates the rights and interest of village panchayats in scheduled and tribal areas," the letter said.
He also said that exempting a large number of projects from public hearing, EIA and granting of post-facto clearances will adversely affect the rights of the forest dwellers to conserve, manage and protect forests.
The draft notification advocates exclusion of activities like leveling of ground without tree felling and geotechnical investigation from "prior environment clearance".
These activities have an impact on landscapes, particularly in mountain terrains, so these should not be kept out of the ambit of the environmental permission, he said.
"Raising objection over several other provisions of the draft notification, Baghel expressed hope that all the issues which he has raised will be addressed by the Centre before the draft notification is finalised," the official said.
He said the notification, in its current form has completely ignored the sensitivity needed towards conserving the environment, the official added.