The Supreme Court has sought objections to a fresh report filed by the government recommending implementation of five out of six hydroelectric power (HEP) projects, which were earlier recommended for cancellation due to their bio-diversity impacts on Alaknanda and Bhagirath river basins in Uttarakhand.
Citing the experts body’s report, the environment and forest ministry told a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra that the implementation of the five projects — NTPC’s (Lata Tapavan 171 MW ), NHPC’s (Kotlibhel IA-195 MW), GMR’s (Alaknanda-300MW), Super Hydro (Khironi Ganga-4 MW and Bhyunder Ganga-24 MW) — can be done only after each project developer formulated the disaster mitigation plan (DMP), longitudinal connectivity of E-flow of water, safety measures required during tunneling and blasting, muck disposal and transportation, etc and also obtained necessary clearance from the National Board for Wild Life.
However, the seven-member expert body, headed by civil engineer and hydrology expert BP Das, has recommended against implementation of THDC’s 108-MW Jhelam Tamak HEP, situated on Dhauli Ganga, saying the project has not yet obtained necessary clearances and not reached the “ripe stage” for examination for acceptability for implementation.
After a brief hearing, the bench on Tuesday asked the government to apprise it of the findings of an inter-ministerial committee, which has been set up on Monday to look into an expert panel’s report giving clearance to five hydro power projects.
The bench asked the MoEF to apprise it about the final decision on the hydro projects and posted the matter for further hearing on January 20.