September 2016 marked a decade of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) notification in India. What is the procedure involved in making EIA? After EIA and project approval, what mechanism exists to check compliance of project conditions? Why is compliance important? Critically examine.

September 2016 marks the decade of EIA notification which is our ostensible tool to arrive at a balance between environmental priorities and developmental needs. It was promulgated first in 1994 under Protection Environment act(1986) and re-engineered in 2006.

Below are the things involved in making EIA:

  1. Screening
  2. Scope and considerations of alternatives
  3. Baseline data collection
  4. Impact prediction
  5. Assessment of alternatives,delineation of mitigation and environmental impact statement
  6. public hearing
  7. Environment management plan
  8. Decision making
  9. Monitoring and clearance conditions

Compliance mechanism:

Every project granted approval from the Environment ministry, the state departments and specialized bodies such as PCBs come with conditions that to be followed.But the regulatory authorities pay scan attention to the compliance of these conditions. Environmental compliance is has been left vague and closed door practice between the two parties- the government and project developers. With no third party involved the compliance remain facile and bureaucratic exercise

Importance of compliance:

  • The authorities can not ignore the problems that arise due to the violations compliance conditions since the people living near project will suffer
  • Compliance will be able to strike balance between environment and development if implemented properly

Since 2006 EIA has achieved some success preventing damage to environment. But involving people NGOs etc. not only in EIA but in compliance would make it better .

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