Social Impact Assessment

Do you think the “social impact assessment” made compulsory for all category of projects before their execution? Substantiate. (200 Words)

SIA: It is scientific measurement of the projects impact on whole society at large generally and the local people displaced or suffered due to project specifically. It measures positive, negative long term and short term impact on society. In this a major input which is taken from local people and considering the social risks at large. Primarily it tries to bring more inclusive, sustainable biophysical and human development.
Relevance of SIA:
  1. Increase legitimacy of acquisition.
  2. Provide feedback.
  3. Better inclusive Growth of society and area particularly.
  4. R&R will be better.
SIA should not be made compulsory and a positive exclusion can be made of class of projects excluded from it e.g. Security, Defence, Public purpose project with legally defined definition of what counts as Public Purpose like Metro project, mining etc.
But exclusion should be as minimum as possible because ours is a Democratic country and social impact assessment report serves the purpose of acceptance of it by people. Proper rehabilitation and resettlement plans are needed to be placed in with an independent regulator to ensure it. Options like land pooling model of Gujarat is a
well tested model and if possible should be used in implementation.
In case of other projects like PPP, Private organisations manufacturing units should compulsorily seek SIA. A better rehabilitation and resettlement package is to be offered after consultations under SIA, in return of land which should include some developed land, job and skill development and development of area e.g. Building school, Hospitals etc