Increasing temperatures are likely to impact human health. An increase in severe heat wave days and heat mortalities has been observed in India over the past few decades. A report by National Disaster Management Authority states that about 22,562 heat related deaths were reported between the periods 1992 to 2015.

Impact assessments are conducted with the objective of safeguarding human health and the environment. The Environmental Impact Assessment notification of 2006, subsequent amendments and associated guidelines provide the framework to document untoward effects of proposed industrial and developmental projects on the environment, and to manage them. It is also implicitly understood that the notification covers human health concerns arising from the proposed projects. Are health concerns being adequately accounted for when projects are provided clearance?

In the context of the recent Supreme Court directive on medical research on Bhopal, it is critically important to examine the history of research efforts, their quality, their coherent purpose and accountability. nless we learn from the past the Court's directives will just spur more half-hearted, short-sighted and unaccountable research.