Social Impact Assessment
Acquisition of land for a project usually results displacement of habitation, loss of business establishments, shrinking employment opportunities and even lively hood of affected people. Social impact assessment is a process of identification, analysis and management of the gravity in social impacts both positive and negative. The role of Social Impact Assessment is to act as an instrument which helps to assess and determine the implications of land acquisition on the affected community and people. It minimises the risks involved in displacement, rehabilitation, compensation and resettlement and thereby the acquiring agency can plan the entire procedures with saving of cost, time etc.
The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 is one of the reforms in the area of land governance. As per the provisions of this Act, it is mandatory to carry out a Social Impact Assessment study and to prepare a Social Impact Management Plan for acquisition of land by Government for its own use or by public-private- partnership projects for public purpose. The overall objectives of this study, is to make land acquisition process participatory, humane and transparent. It also stipulates that the SIA study shall justify or demonstrate the following things, among others.
a. Whether land proposed for acquisition serves public purpose.
b. Whether the extent of land under proposal of acquisition is the absolute bare minimum.
c. Whether land acquisition at an alternative place has been considered and found not feasible.
d. Whether overall potential benefits of the project outweighs the social impacts and assessment cost .
e. Estimate the number of families likely to be affected and displaced.
f. Assess movable or immovable properties likely to be affected.