Any developmental endeavor requires not only the analysis of the need of such a project, the monetary costs and benefits involved but most important, it requires a consideration and detailed assessment of the effect of a proposed development on the environment. The environment impact process was introduced with the purpose of identifying ‘evaluating the potential beneficial and adverse impacts of development projects on the environment, taking in to account environmental, social, cultural and aesthetic considerations.All of these considerations are critical to determine the viability of a project and to decide if a project should be granted environmental clearance. An EIA concentrate n problems, conflicts and natural resource constraints which might affect the viability of a project. It also predicts how the project could harm to people, their homeland, their livelihoods, and the other nearby developmental activities. After predicting potential impacts, the EIA identifies measures to minimize the impacts and suggests ways to improve the project viability.The aim of an EIA is to ensure that potential impacts are identified and addressed at an early stage in the projects planning and design. To achieve this aim, the assessment finding are communicated to all the relevant groups who will eke decisions about the proposed projects, the project developers and their investors as well as regulators , planners and the politicians.
Having read the conclusions of an environmental impact assessment, project planners and engineers can shape the project so that its benefits can be achieved and sustained with out causing adverse impacts.In recent years, major projects have encountered serious difficulties because insufficient account has been taken of their relationship with the surrounding environment. Some projects have been found to be unsustainable because of resource depletion. Others eave been abandoned because Of public opposition, financially encumbered by unforeseen costs, held liable for damages to natural resources and even been the cause of disastrous accidents.Principle 17 of the ROI declaration states that – “EIA as a national instrument shall be undertaken for the proposed activities that are likely to have significant adverse impact on the environment and are subject to a decision of a competent national authority”. In India many of the developmental projects till as recently as the 1 9805 Were implemented with ere little or no environmental concerns. The environmental issues began receiving attention when a national committee on environmental planning and coordination was set up under the 4th five year plan (19691978).
Till 1980, the subjects of environment and forests were the concern of the Dept of Science and Technology and Ministry of Agriculture respectively. Later, the issues were formally attended by the Dept of Environment which was established in 1980. This was then upgraded to the Ministry of Environment & Forest in 1985. In 1980, clearance of large projects from the environmental Engle became an administrative requirement to the extent that the planning commission and the central investment board sought proof of such clearance before according financial sanction.Five year later, the Dept Of Environment and Forests, Government of India, issued guidelines for Environmental Assessment of river valley projects. These guidelines require various studies such as impacts on forests and wild life in the submergence zone, water logging potential, upstream and down stream aquatic ecosystems and fisheries, water related diseases, climatic changes and cosmetics. A major selective measures for the purpose of environmental clearance was in 1 994 when specific notification was issued under section 3 and rule 5 of the environment protection Act , 1986 called the “Environment impact Assessment Notification 1994”.The first step in seeking environmental clearance for a development project is to determine what statutory legislations apply to the particular project.
The MOVE has brought out several notifications restricting the development of industries in specified ecologically sensitive areas. In addition there are also draft rules framed for the sitting Of industries. Environmental clearance for development projects can be obtained either at the state level or at the central level depending on certain criteria concerning the characteristics of the project.