Expedition of Environment Impact Assessment in India: Where do we stand in 2020?

Brea Sandhu
Advocate, Ms. Deepali Puri Additional Advocate General Punjab, Punjab
and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh, India
Varanpreet Kaur
University Institute of Legal Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India

Volume III, Issue IV, 2020

The Earth is what we all have in common. Harmony cannot be realized if there is no respect for human beings and our mother Earth. In the modern era, every nation is competing to become the super power. The understanding of development is mostly economic, and measured in capitalist terms. However, the happiness index, quality of living, and the flora, fauna of the region is an equally important aspect of development today. This is where environment and development go hand in hand. A healthy environment becomes an indicator of healthy progress. Environmental Impact Assessment or EIA is the process or study which predicts the effect of a proposed industrial/infrastructural project on the environment. It prevents the proposed activity/project from being approved without proper oversight or taking adverse consequences into account. EIA has evolved from just studying the impacts on natural environment to integrate social and medical impacts as well. Diversity is strength, not a weakness. The Indian expedition with Environmental Impact Assessment began with enactment of first full legislative mandatory requirements for EIA contained in The Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 1994. The MoEF (Ministry of Environment and Forest) notified new EIA legislation in September 2006 which superseded the previous notification to cover its lacunas. However, unlike the EIA Notification of 1994, the new legislation put the onus of clearing projects on the state government depending on the size/capacity of the project. The draft notification of 2020 is the outcome of the Central Government’s power to make the Environment Clearance process more transparent with dilution of the process to adapt the dynamic environment.

Keywords: Environment Impact Assessment (1994 -2020), procedure, implementation and growth analysis and comparison between 2006 and 2020 notification. 

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”

― Mahatma Gandhi.