In India, the importance of Environmental Impact Assessment for sustainable development was recognized in the early nineteen eighties. However, it was only by mid-eighties that Environmental Impact Assessment was introduced as a necessary step for the clearance of various developmental activities under the Environmental Protection Act 1986.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests was entrusted with the responsibility of enforcing the provisions of the act. The objectives of Environmental Impact Assessment as defined by the Ministry of Environment and Forest are ‘to achieve sustainable development and the prevention of long term adverse effects by incorporating suitable prevention and control measures’. The following categories of developmental activities require clearance from Ministry of Environmental and Forest. (M.E.F. Notification, 1994).