Changes in microclimate, loss of vegetal cover and soil erosion. Variation in water table and enhanced seismic activities due to pressure of water. In hilly areas, blasting operations for road construction may cause considerable damage to an environment through loosening of hill sides and resultant landslides, sedimentation of reservoirs, drying up of the springs and flash floods. The creation of new settlement for the workmen and rehabilitation of project outside in the watershed area could aggravate the seriousness of advanced impacts. Possible impact of some major river valley projects on the environment and local inhabitants could be very severe. A detailed account of Tehri Dam can be found in recently published books. Environmental Impact Assessmentof Tehri Dam by veerlapati Govardhan. Environmentalists have always been tirelessly pointing out the danger of damming the Bhagirathi in the seismic zone. The earthquake which rocket Uttarkashi and surroundings areas a couple of years back forced us to re-think if Tehri project should be studied afresh with seismologists and non earthquake engineers going into the technicalities of the whole project. The project would not only provide irrigation and power at Tihri, but also affect adversely the fragile Dragon Himalayan environment. The project which took shape in 1949 and was a brainchild of the geological survey of India was studied in details in 1963. About 260.5 km, High Dam has been the subject of various critical appraisals. The Environmental Appraisal Committeechaired by Dr D.R. Bhumbla criticized the attempt of Tihri Hydro Development Corporation. A survey of natural resources and their economic viability, compatibility and feasibility of the impact of the Dam construction on Himalayan Ecosystem was studied by the committee. There have been claims and counter-claims of a number of experts on Tihri project.
Guidelines for Setup of Industrial Project
The coastal area (at least 500 meters from the high tide lines), national park and sanctuaries, estuaries, wetlands, archeological monuments, flood plains of reverie system and major human settlements must be awarded for setup of industrial project.
For EIA, the factors like, metrology and air quality, hydrology and water quality, occupational safety and health effect and impact on sensitive targets must be taken into account. The aspects of EMP viz, treatment and disposal of liquid effluents, emissions and solid wastes; prevention and control of noise and vibrations ; precautions of occupational safety and health ; prevention maintenance for control statement system ; recovery and reuse of waste products ; plantation and digital cover retirement planning and Environmental Management Plans of ensuring implementation of necessary safeguards must be indicated. The cost of Environmental Protection and mitigative measures should also be included in overall estimates. These should include compensatory a forestation, restoration of land in construction areas, control of water and soil-borne diseases and rehabilitation of outees.
Similar guidelines have also been prepared for transportation, tourism and communications. A number of projects have been appraised for so far by the Ministry and some have been cleared and some are rejected. For example, Narmada Nagar (M.P.) and Sardar Sarovar project (Gujarat)were accorded environmental clearance in 1987. The work in progress of identifying ecosystem that is, the systems with unique properties ; intrinsically low resilience; high species richness and biological diversity ; susceptible of species loss ; linking two or more protected areas ; aquifers and water recharge areas of Mountain springs ; area of active geological faults and respectable to seismic hazards.
Health Related Monitoring Programs
There has also been developed Human Exposure Assessment Location(HEAL), as a part of health related monitoring programme by WHO in cooperation with UNEF. The project has three components, viz. air monitoring; water quality monitoring and food contamination monitoring on a global basis. In our country, chambur and Central Bombay city have been identified for study of human exposure with reference to pollutants such as chlorinated pesticides (DDT and BHC); heavy metals(lead, cadmium) and air pollutants (nitrogen oxides). The following institutions are participated in this program.
National institute of occupational health, Ahmadabad, Maharashtra pollution control board, Bombay air quality monitoring and search laboratory, Bombay municipal corporation, Bombay.
Resettlement and Rehabilitation of People
Development projects raise the quality and standard of life, but they also led to the Eco-degradation and above all destruction of socio-economic and ecological waste of local community and their displacement. For example, Sardar Sarovar project affects the people of many villages of three states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. It is estimated that 75,000 people will be evicted. Similarly, the Bakra Nangal Dam was constructed during 1950s but till now only half of displaced person has been rehabilitated. The displacement of local people lead to loss of land, food, increased mortality and morbility and social isolation of the tribal’s. Further, the ancestral link between the people and the environment is also lost.
The United Nation Universal Declaration of Human Rights [Article 25(1)] has declared that “right to housing” is a basic human right. So there is an urgent need of comprehensive National rehabilitation policy to honours the human rights of outsees. Following images are suggested; to provide better habitation, to provide adequate compensation in terms of money and land, to provide job opportunities to at least one adult member of a family, to provide Civic amenities’ at the settlements, to maintain their religious and cultural belief.