SIA & EIA studies as per LAWs

Project Info

Project Description

Social Impact Assessment study  shall, amongst other things, take into consideration the impact that the project is likely to have on various components such as livelihood of affected families, public and community properties, assets and infrastructure particularly roads, public transport, drainage, sanitation, sources of drinking water, sources of water for cattle, community ponds, grazing land, plantations, public utilities such as post offices, fair price shops, food storage godowns, electricity supply, health care facilities, schools and educational or training facilities, anganwadis, children parks, places of worship, land for traditional tribal institutions and burial and cremation grounds Environmental, social impact assessment has the potential to contribute to sustainable development if implemented to the standard recommended as best practice.

  • Socio-cultural, historic and economic context:
    Main social groups and their socio-cultural characteristics disaggregated between men and
    women; emphasis on indigenous peoples and vulnerable groups such as landless persons,
    the elderly, persons with disabilities, children, ethnic minorities or displaced persons;
  • Historical events relevant to the project and potential impacts;
  • Economic trends and prospects (relevant for social groups at or near the project);
  • Main economic activities and livelihood patterns: formal and informal, subsistence and
    commercial, including dependence on natural resources or on illegal activities such as
    poaching or illegal trade;
  • Social issues and risks faced by social groups, including issues related to access to
    resources and to social services as well as to their capabilities and development
  • Interests and developmental aspirations of social groups and their attitudes toward
    sustainable natural resource management;
  • Existing or potential emerging conflicts between or among social groups that are relevant to
    the project.

Political, institutional and legal context:

  • Institutional environment: local and central government, private sector and civil society institutions relevant to the activities proposed by the project;
  • Policy and decision-making processes, stability of political systems, leadership and rule of law;
  • Policies and regulations on property rights/tenure regimes, natural resource management and conservation and current practice of enforcement (in general and locally, especially at the project site);
  • Capacities and capacity issues of institutions relevant to the project and to impacts;
  • Issues and constraints within existing institutions and in their relationships with each other that might present barriers for the project and opportunities for overcoming these constraints

Social impact assessment

  • Methodology of data collection and impact analysis
  • Describe the data collection and impact analysis methodology used in the SIA, including the data collection methods and analytical tools used (e.g., qualitative versus quantitative data, mix of data from different units of analysis for triangulation of results);
  • the units of analysis used for the social assessment (e.g., household level, community level or other relevant social aggregations);
  • if sampling was used, rationale and criteria for sampling sites and respondents; please note that representative sampling (rather than subjective sampling) should be employed wherever possible.

When designing the research methodology, it is important to be mindful about how much time and
resources the research process will require from the communities

THE FOURTH SCHEDULE AS per Indian Land Acquisition Act 2013
(See section 105)
1. The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 (24 of 1958).
2. The Atomic Energy Act, 1962 (33 of 1962).
3. The Damodar Valley Corporation Act, 1948 (14 of 1948).
4. The Indian Tramways Act, 1886 (11 of 1886)
5. The Land Acquisition (Mines) Act, 1885 (18 of 1885).
6. The Metro Railways (Construction of Works) Act, 1978 (33 of 1978).
7. The National Highways Act, 1956 (48 of 1956).
8. The Petroleum and Minerals Pipelines (Acquisition of Right of User in Land) Act, 1962 (50 of
9. The Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act, 1952 (30 of 1952).
10. The Resettlement of Displaced Persons (Land Acquisition) Act, 1948 (60 of 1948).
11. The Coal Bearing Areas Acquisition and Development Act, 1957 (20 of 1957).
12. The Electricity Act, 2003 (36 of 2003).
13. The Railways Act, 1989 (24 of 1989).

Environmental Impact Assessment

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report is often a key requirement as part of the process of gaining Environmental Clearance (EC). The EIA report can be a ‘Stand Alone‘ document or can form a part of the DPR or Feasibility Report as the case may be.

The generic structure of an EIA in India is outlined in Appendix III of the MoEF EIA Notification, which defines the EC process. Further general (non-India specific) information on EIAs is available in the World Bank’s Operational Policy.

The various particular factors to be considered for EIA are sector specific. However, in general, the following are common to EIAs prepared for all sectors1

1) Project description:  Describes the proposed project and its geographic, ecological, social and temporal context, including any off-site investments that may be required. Indicates the need for any resettlement or social development plan.

2) Baseline Data:  Describes relevant physical, biological and socioeconomic conditions, including all changes anticipated before the project commences, within an area around the project site. Under current regulations in India this is a radius of 10 or 25km of the site, depending on whether the site is in the vicinity of sensitive areas such as National Parks, sanctuaries, or archaeological monuments. Additionally takes into account current and proposed development activities within the project area but not directly connected to the project.

3) Environmental Impacts: Predicts and assesses the project’s likely positive and negative impacts in quantitative terms to the extent possible. Identifies mitigation measures and any negative environmental impact that cannot be mitigated. Explores opportunities for environmental enhancement

4) Analysis of alternatives: Systematically compares feasible alternatives to the proposed projects site, technology, design and operation including the “without project” situation in terms of their potential environmental impacts, the feasibility of mitigating these impacts, their capital and recurrent costs, their suitability under local conditions and abatement.

5) Environmental Monitoring Programme and Environmental Management Plan:  Describes mitigation, monitoring and institutional measures to be taken during construction and operation to eliminate adverse impacts, offset them, or reduce them to the acceptable levels.

6) Description of project costs and benefits

7) Consultation: Record of consultation meetings, including consultations for obtaining the informed views of the project affected people (PAPs), local NGOs and regulatory agencies. Disclosure also of the consultants that were engaged during the study.

8) Summary and conclusions covering the justification for the project and the approach to mitigating adverse affects

Environmental Clearance

The process and requirements for Environmental Clearance, including definitions of whether projects are required to get clearance at the Central or State level, are covered in the Ministry of Environment and Forests’ (MoEF) EIA Notification. Further information is available from the Ministry’s EIA Manual.

The main features of the EIA Notification are summarised below.

Categorization of projects and activities

The Notification broadly categorises all projects and activities as either Category A or Category B. This categorisation depends on the size of the project and the degree of potential impacts on human health and natural and man made resources. The specific thresholds for categorising projects are provided in the Schedule to the Notification.

All Category A projects require a ‘Prior Environmental Clearance’ (EC) from MoEF.

Category A projects include all physical infrastructure whose size and cost is greater than certain minimum levels as defined in the Schedule. Environmental Clearances for these projects are granted at the Central level. Physical infrastructure includes projects in the ports, highways, water and sanitation, urban ransport, and solid waste management sectors.

All new National Highways are classified as Category A. In addition, expansion of National Highways greater than 30 KM, involving additional Right of Way (ROW) greater than 20m, involving land acquisition and passing through more than one State are categorized as Category A.

Category B covers projects with lesser size or capacity, and smaller impacts than Category A. Environmental Clearances for Category B projects are granted at the State level. Each State has a dedicated department or Board as, required by law, which would grant the Clearance.

The actual size definitions depend on the sector or project type. For example in the case of ports, projects with handling capacity of more than 5 MTPA come under Category A, while those with less than 5 MTPA are Category B.

Projects can be new works, the expansion and modernisation of existing projects, and changes in the product mix of existing projects.

Note, all Railway Projects, with no exception, are totally exempted from seeking Environmental Clearance under Government regulations. It should be noted however that some external funding agencies, such as JBIC, may require an EIA as part of the feasibility study or DPR.

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