Today a lot of state governments promise companies investment opportunities free of ‘encumbrances’. Investors are assured of government assistance in securing requisite clearances for projects. Sample, for example, the following sentence from a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between an international investor of a high profile project and the Orissa government. “The government of Orissa shall assist the Company in obtaining all clearances, including forest and environment clearance and approval of the State Pollution Control Board, and the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986 for opening up the iron ore mines, laying roads, constructing township etc,” it says.
Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), New Delhi is going to organise a hands-on three-day training programme aimed at giving practical exposure to participants on EIA with specific reference to wind power projects.
The objective of this programme is to enable stakeholders to understand the likely impacts of the project and allows them to make sound decisions during various stages of project development.
It goes unsaid that in order to improve environmental governance, the roles of efficient and worthy Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) along with an equitable growth through proper Social Impact Assessment (SIA) are indispensable. They are not merely tools to assess possible impacts and suggest mitigation for the environmental and social issues, but processes, which if done well, can yield unexpectedly positive results in the form of sustainable and equitable growth.