By Riya Mathur, SRCC, Delhi.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) refers to the formal process undertaken to understand the environmental consequences of any development project or business plan upon its implementation. It is thus an efficient tool to identify projects which can be executed with the best possible combination of economic and environmental considerations. The need for environmental clearance in India arose when the Planning Commission required a comprehensive examination of several upcoming river valley projects around 1976-77. Later the Environmental Protection Act of 1986 made EIA mandatory in the year 1994.