Expert Appraisal Committee

Environment and Forest Clearances for Dam Projects in 2021

EAC Decisions In the table below, we have given details of the proposals discussed and cleared by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change’s (MoEF) Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) for River Valley and Hydropower Projects from Dec. 22, 2020 to Dec. 23, 2021.

SNProject Name Capacity (in MW)DeveloperDistrict StateRiver BasinDate of EAC meetingProposalDecision
 NORTH INDIA      
 HimachalPradesh     
1Sunni HEP (Luhri Stage-III)
382 MW
SJVNLShimla, Mandi Himachal PradeshSutlej30 Dec. 2020For EC AmendmentApproved
2Dugar HEP 499 MW  NHPCChamba, Himachal PradeshChenab Indus20 Jan. 2021For ToR AmendmentApproved
3 Luhri-I HEP
210  MW
SJVNLShimla, Mandi Himachal PradeshSutlej07 Feb. 2021Amendment in ECApproved
4Reoli Dugli HEP 430 MWSJVNLLahaul-Spiti, Himachal PradeshAt Darhi Nala & Reoli Nala confluence with Chenab07 Feb. 2021For ToRApproved
5Bardang HEP
175 MW
SJVNLLahaul & Spiti, Himachal PradeshMiyar Nallah Chenab07 Feb. 2021For ToRApproved
6Purthi HEP
232 MW
SJVNLChamba, Himachal PradeshChenab07 Feb 2021For ToRApproved
7Expansion of Tidong-I HEP-II 150 MW (Ph-I -100 + Ph-II -50)Tidong Power Generation P LtdKinnaur Himachal PradeshTidong Sutlej01 March 2021For ECMore Info Sought
     15 April 2021 More Info Sought
     25 May 2021For EC reconsiderationDeferred for more info
     16 June 2021 Approved
8Dhaulasidh
66 MW
SJVNLHamirpur, Kangra Himachal PradeshBeas Sutlej25 March 2021For Amendment in ECApproved
9Gyspa Hydro Power Project
300 MW
HPPCLLahaul- Spiti Himachal PradeshBhaga Indus25 March 2021For Reconsideration ToRMore Info Sought
10Kutehr
240 MW
JSW Energy Ltd.Chamba Himachal Pradesh  Ravi Sutlej06 May 2021For Amendment/ Extension in ECApproved
11Karcham Wangtoo HEP Capacity Enhance-ment From 1000 MW to 1091 MWJSW Hydro Energy LtdKinnaur Himachal PradeshSutlej06 May 2021For Amendment in ECMore Info Sought
 Uttarakhand      
12Sirkari Bhyol Rupsia-bagar HEP 120 MWUJVNLPithorgarh UttarakhandGauriganga Sarda07 Feb. 2021For ECMore info sought
     15 April 2021 More info sought
13Vishnugad-Pipalkoti HEP
444 MW
THDCChamoli UttarakhandAlaknanda27 July 2021For ECApproved
 Jammu &Kashmir     
14Ujh Multi-purpose HEP
196 MW
JKSPDCKathua J&KUjh Ravi30 Dec. 2020For ECMore info Sought   yet APPROVED
     07 Sept. 2021Amendment in ECMore info Sought
15Kirthai Stage-I HEP
390 MW
JKSPDCKishtwar J&KChenab Indus15 April 2021For ECApproved
16Kirthai
Stage-II HEP
930 MW
JKSPDCKishtwar J&KChenab Indus15 April 2021For ECApproved
17Uri-I Stage-II
240 MW
NHPCBaramulla J&KJhelum Indus15 April 2021For ToRApproved
18Dulhasti II
260 MW
NHPCKishtwar J&KChenab Indus16 June 2021For ToRApproved
 UttarPradesh     
19Ramapur Gurar Pumped Storage HEP 3000 MWGreenko Energies Pvt LtdSonbhadra Uttar PradeshNA14 Dec. 2021For ToRWithdrawn by PP due to mistakes in Form 1
20Off-Stream Closed Loop Pumped Storage Project 3000 MWGreenko Energies Pvt LtdSonbhadra  Uttar Pradesh 14 Dec. 2021For ToRApproved
 NORTH EAST      
 ArunachalPradesh     
21Anjaw HEP
270 MW
Lohit Urja P LtdAnjaw Arunachal Pradesh  Lohit Brahmaputra01 March 2021For ToRApproved
22Niare HEP
870 MW
Andhra Power Private LimitedUpper Subansiri, Arunachal PradeshSubansiri Brahmaputra25 March 2021For ToRInfo Sought
     06 May 2021Reconsideration of ToRApproved
23Naba HEP
1070 MW
Naba Power Pvt. Ltd.Upper Subansiri Arunachal PradeshSubansiri Brahmaputra25 May 2021For ToRApproved
24Tawang-I HEP
600 MW
NHPCTawang Arunachal PradeshTawangchu Manas16 June 2021Extension of Validity of ECApproved
     07 Sept. 2021EC Validity Extended upto 09 June 2024 
25Tawang-II HEP 800 MWNHPCTawang Arunachal PradeshTawangchu Manas16 June 2021Extension of Validity of ECApproved
     07 Sept. 2021EC Validity Extended upto 09 June 2024 
26Cumulative Impact Assessment & Carrying Capacity Study of Tirap Basin. Inclusion of Chinglum HEP Arunachal PradeshSubansiri  18 Oct. 2021Recommen-dation for StudyMore Info. Sought
 Sikkim      
27Rongnichu HEP 115 MWMadhya Bharat Power Corp LtdGangtok SikkimRongnichu Teesta30 Dec 2020For ECApproved
 EAST INDIA      
 WestBengal     
28Teesta Intermediate HEP 90 MW (2×30+2×15)WBSEDCKalimpong West BengalTeesta07 Feb. 2021For ToRApproved
29Teesta Low Dam – I & II (Combined) HEP 71 MW (2×30+1×11)WBSEDCDarjeeling West BengalTeesta27 July 2021For ToRMore Info. Sought
     15 Nov. 2021 More Info. Sought
30Bahalpur Pumped Storage HEP
1380 MW
Greenko Energies Pvt LtdPurulia  West BengalStandalone Project14 Dec. 2021For ToRWithdrawn by PP due to mistakes in Form 1
31Off-Stream Closed Loop Pumped Storage Project
1380 MW
Greenko Energies Pvt LtdPurulia  West Bengal 14 Dec. 2021For ToRMore info sought
32Shaheed Lakhan Nayak SHEP
25 MW
Meenakshi Odisha Power Pvt LtdKoraput, OdishaKolab (Sabari) Godavari25 March 2021For ECMore info sought
     07 July 2021For EC ReconsiderationApproved
 WEST INDIA      
 Gujarat      
33Ukai Pumped Storage HEP
1600 MW
Greenko Energies Pvt. Ltd.Tapi GujaratBased on Ukai Dam on Tapi07 July 2021For ToRApproved
 Maharashtra      
34Bhavali Pumped Storage Project 1500 MWJSW Neo Energy LtdNasik & Thane Maharashtra 14 Dec. 2021For ToRMore Info. Sought
35Kurha Vadhoda Islampur Lift Irrigation SchemeTapi Irrigation Development CorpJalgaon MaharashtraTapi Basin01 March 2021For ToRMore Info. Sought
     07 Sept. 2021 Proposal returned
 Rajasthan      
36Parwan Major Multi-purpose Irrigation cum Drinking Water Supply ProjectDept of Water Re-sourcesJhalawar RajasthanParwan Chamabl07 July 2021For Extension in Validity of ECApproved
37Rana Pratap Sagar Off-Stream Closed Loop Pumped Storage Project 2000 MWSemaliya Energy Pvt LtdChittorgarh RajasthanChambal Lower Yamuna14 Dec. 2021For ToRApproved
 MadhyaPradesh     
38Gandhi Sagar Off Stream Pumped Storage Project 1440 MWGreenko Energies Pvt. Ltd.Neemuch Madhya PradeshChambal Lower Yamuna27 July 2021For ECApproved
 SOUTH INDIA      
 AndhraPradesh     
39Rayala-seema Lift Scheme to supplement 3 TMC per day to SRMC Kurnool Andhra PradeshKrishna River Basin07 July 2021For Amendment in Existing ECsMore Info. Sought
40Chitravati Pumped Storage HEP
500 MW
NREDCAPAnanta-puram Andhra PradeshChitravati Pennar27 Sept. 2021For ToRApproved
41Kurukutti Pumped Storage HEP
1200 MW
NREDCAPVizia-nagaram  Andhra PradeshStream that joins Boduru Gedda river in Suvarnamukhi (Nagavali) basin18 Oct. 2021For ToRApproved
42Karrivalasa Pumped Storage HEP
1000 MW
NREDCAPVizia-nagaram Andhra PradeshStream that joins Boduru Gedda river in Suvarnamukhi (Nagavali) basin18 Oct. 2021For ToRApproved
43Somasila Pumped Storage HEP
900 MW
NREDCAPKadapa Andhra PradeshBased on Somasila Dam on Pennar river18 Oct. 2021For ToRMore Info. Sought
44Gandikota Pumped Storage HEP
1000 MW
NREDCAPKadapa Andhra PradeshBased on Gandikota Dam on Pennar river15 Nov. 2021For ToRApproved
45Owk Pumped Storage HEP
800 MW
NREDCAPKurnool Andhra PradeshBased on Owk dam on Paleru River in Pannar basin15 Nov. 2021For ToRApproved
46Yerravaram Pumped Storage HEP
1000 MW
NREDCAPVisakha-patnam Andhra Pradesh 23 Dec. 2021For ToRApproved
 Tamil Nadu      
47Kundah Pumped Storage HEP
500 MW (125X4)
TN Generation & Distribution CorpNilgiris, Tamil NaduKundah Cauvery20 Jan. 2021For ECApproved
 Karnataka      
48Tubachi-Bableshwar Lift Irrigation SchemeKNNLBagalkot KarnatakaKrishna20 Jan. 2021For ToRApproved
49Basave-shwara Lift Irrigation SchemeKNNLBelgaun Karnataka 25 May 2021For ECAllowed to Withdraw

EC: Environmental Clearances, ToR: Terms of References; NA: Not Applicable

Summary Form December 20, 2020 to December 23, 2021, the EAC had 17 meetings and considered 49 proposals including 28 Hydropower, 16 Pumped Storage, 4 Lift Irrigation and 1 Irrigation cum drinking water projects. Out of these 49 proposals 20 were considered for EC including extension, amendment and reconsideration while 28 proposals were considered for ToR including amendment and reconsideration.

In this period the EAC approved EC to 16 and ToR to 20 proposals. Of 16 projects granted ECs, 13 are HEP projects of which 5 are in Himachal Pradesh, 3 in J&K, 2 in Arunachal Pradesh and 1 each in Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Odisha.

Shocking decision During June 16, 2021 meeting the EAC took a shocking decision of approving extension to validity of EC to controversial 600 Mw Tawang-I & 800 Mw Tawang-II HEPs for 3 more years despite both projects had well expired valid time frame for the purpose. The minutes say:-

“The EAC during deliberations noted that the proposal is for extension in validity of EC dated 10th June, 2011 since as per EIA Notification, 2006, the period of validity of EC is 10 years and extendable for 3 years in case PP applies within the expiry date of EC. PP has requested for extension in validity of EC as project could not commence due to non-accord of Forest Clearance (Stage-I) by MoEF&CC. Now, since PP has applied the proposal for extension in EC and considering extendable period is 3 years as per EIA Notification, 2006 and its amendments therein, the EC may be extended till 9th June, 2024. PP has submitted an application no. IA/AR/RIV /18462/2013 dated 16th June, 2021 i.e. within its validity period of EC”

How is application on 16th June within the EC period when EC expired on June 10? Moreover, what about the opposition to the project by the people of Tawang and Arunachal Pradesh?

The proposals were considered again on Sept. 07, 2021 meeting and the EAC justified the wrong decision. The minutes read, “Ministry may consider the proposal as recommended for grant of extension in validity of EC dated 10th June, 2021 to Tawang Hydroelectric Project Stage-I of 600 MW by M/s NHPC Ltd. in Jung village, District Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh till 9th June, 2024, under the provisions of EIA Notification, 2006 and subsequent amendments/circulars therein subject to following.”

See this report on why both Tawang related decisions (as also some others) are controversial.  

Similarly, the EAC on Dec. 30, 2020 granted EC to 196 MW Ujh Multipurpose in Jammu & Kashmir while seeking more information. The project was again considered on Sept. 07, 2021 for amendment in EC regarding which the EAC has sought more information.

The EAC initially had just one agenda item of 1070 Mw Naba HEP in Arunachal Pradesh for ToR consideration for May 25, 2021 however just on the day of meeting, the EAC added 2 more proposals on the agenda for EC consideration including 3rd Unit of 50 Mw (Ph-II) Tidong-I HEP in Himachal Pradesh and  Basaveshwara Lift Irrigation Scheme in Karnataka.

Violations Regarding Kurha Vadhoda Islampur Lift Irrigation Scheme the EAC noted that project proponent has started construction activity without prior EC and some of the work has been completed to the extent of about 60-70% which is a case of violation of EIA Notification, 2006 and the Ministry should take action as per the law. The proposal was returned on above lines.

EAC meeting for a single project! Interestingly, for Sept. 27, 2021 the EAC had just one project on its agenda (500 MW Chitravati Pumped Storage HEP in Andhra Pradesh) which is an unprecedented kind of event! Again the EAC had only one agenda item (1200 Mw Yerravaram Pumped Storage HEP in Andhra Pradesh) for ToR consideration for Dec. 23, 2021 meeting.

Links to EAC meetings The details and minutes link of EAC meetings held between Dec. 20, 2020 and Dec. 23, 2021 and been seen below.

SNDatesMinutes Links
130 Dec. 2020http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Minutes/07012021PT7OZFAMApproved_5th_EACMeeting_Hydro_MOM30December.pdf   
220 Jan. 2021http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Minutes/28012021UZ80QY68Approved_MoM6thEAC_RiverValley.pdf
307 Feb. 2021http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Minutes/18022021CAO72PG4ApprovedMOM_7thEAC_RVHEP.pdf   
401 March 2021https://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Minutes/18032021PIKG3EBYFinalMinutes8thEACRVHEP01-03-2021.pdf    
525 March 2021https://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Minutes/08042021EWRBTC5MApproved_Minutes_9th_EAC_RVHEP_8-04-2021.pdf    
615 April 2021https://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Minutes/04052021WTPA38DTApproved_10th_EAC_RiverValley.pdf  
706 May 2021http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Minutes/26052021V2JDCZNMApprovedMOM_11th_EAC_RiverValley_20-05-2021.pdf    
825 May 2021http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Minutes/1406202192950758Final_12th_EACMoM_RiverValley.pdf    
916 June 2021http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Minutes/2506202171750683Final_MoM_13th_EAC_RVHEP_16to17-6-21_25-06-
1007 July 2021http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Minutes/1907202152958738Approved_MoM_14th_EAC_RVHEP-19-07-2021.pdf
1127 July 2021http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Minutes/1608202195141872CORRECTEDMoM_15thEAC_RVHEP_27-07-2021.pdf
1207 Sept. 2021http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Minutes/2009202180688918DraftMoMof16thEACRVHEPheldon7-9-2021.pdf
1327 Sept. 2021http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Minutes/0410202114335378Approved_MoM_of_17th_EAC_RVHEP_held_on_27-9-2021.pdf     
1418 Oct. 2021http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Minutes/2011202199203519UpdatedMoM_of_18th_EAC_RVHEP_15-11-2021.pdf    
1515 Nov. 2021http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Minutes/1312202112363327FinalMOM19th_EAC_21-11-2021.pdf   
1614 Dec. 2021http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Minutes/0601202227705589Corrected_FinalMOM20th_RVHEPEAC_14-12-2021.pdf    
1723 Dec. 2021http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Minutes/0601202287916378FinalMoM21stEACheldon23-12-2021.pdf   

Forest Clearance In the table below are the details of hydro, dam, irrigation and drinking projects considered by the MoEF’s Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) for forest clearances in 2021.

SNProject Capacity (in Mw)DeveloperDistrict StateRiver BasinDateProposalDecision
1Rampur HEP 412 MWSJVNLKullu Himachal PradeshSutlej17 Feb. 2021Diversion of 0.8374 ha of additional forest land (in addition to the already diverted 69.3762 and 0.9274 ha) for construction of Road, Bridge, River protection/Training works.   This is the THIRD proposal from SJVN for the same project for additional forest land.Approved
2Sunni Dam HEP 382 MWSJVNLShimla, Mandi Himachal PradeshSutlej17 Sept. 2021Diversion of 397.8863 ha forest landMore Info. Sought
     26 Nov. 2021 Approved
3Integrated Renewable Energy ProjectGreenko Energies Pvt. Ltd.Kurnool Andhra PradeshNA23 Dec. 2021Diversion of 365.66 Ha (i.e.319.02 Ha for Lower Reservoir + 22.50 Ha for Power House & TRC Outlet + 6.96 Ha for Penstock + 8.02 Ha for Intake Structure + 2.43 Ha for Tail Race Channel and 6.73 Ha for Internal Roads)Approved
4Banda Irrigation projectWater Resources DeptSagar Madhya PradeshDhasan Ken25 June 2021Diversion of 535.85 Ha (in place of 505.5 Ha) of forest landApproved
5Integrated Renewable Energy ProjectGreenko Energies Pvt. Ltd.Kurnool Andhra Pradesh 23 De. 2021Diversion of 365.66 Ha (i.e.319.02 Ha for Lower Reservoir + 22.50 Ha for Power House & TRC Outlet + 6.96 Ha for Penstock + 8.02 Ha for Intake Structure + 2.43 Ha for Tail Race Channel and 6.73 Ha for Internal Roads) of forest landApproved

Out of 14 meetings held in 2021, the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) considered proposals regarding diversion of forest lands for hydro, dam and irrigation projects in 5 meetings and approved 4 proposals. The meeting dates and minute links are given in table below.

SNDateLinks
117 Feb. 2021http://forestsclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/FAC_Minutes/3119125512131538_1615275775037.pdf   
225 June 2021http://forestsclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/FAC_Minutes/611912251218175249.PDF
317 Sept. 2021http://forestsclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/FAC_Minutes/10116125912111ApprovedMoMofFAcheldon17-9-2021.pdf    
426 Nov.2021http://forestsclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/FAC_Minutes/121114125412151approvedMoMof11FAC.pdf
523 Dec. 2021http://forestsclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/FAC_Minutes/12112912912181FinalMinutes.pdf     

Police Case against SJVN for violation of Forest Act Regarding proposal seeking diversion of 0.8374 ha of additional forest land (in addition to the already diverted 69.3762 and 0.9274 ha) for construction of Road, Bridge, River protection/Training works for 412 Mw Rampur HEP in Himachal Pradesh the minutes mention:- 

“The proposed structures have already been constructed on the spot. It has been File No.11-91/2012FC mentioned that the matter with regard to encroachment and raising of permanent structures over forest land has been reported to Police under Section-32, 33 of Indian Forest Act, 1927 by lodging an FIR. At the same time the encroachment case has been prepared and challenged in the Court of Collector Grade-1-cum-Tehsildar Rampur vide Range Officer Rampur letter dated 1-6-2013”.

This is a case of violation of the FC act. FAC RECOMMENDED Approval after noting: “the User Agency shall pay five times of NPV and five times penal CA on double degraded forest land in respect of 0.8374 ha of forest land on which violation of the FC Act has been reported by File No.11-91/2012FC the State Government.” 

Compiled by Bhim Singh Rawat (bhim.sandrp@gmail.com)

You may also like to see:-

Uttarakhand: Letter to EAC on EC for 120 MW Sirkari Bhyol Rupsiabagar HEP

EAC & FAC Decisions on Hydro Projects during 2020

HEPs overview 2020: Violations, Accidents & Corruption

2021 International Day of Action for Rivers: Opposition against HEPs, dams

Judicial Interventions in Hydro Projects in 2020

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.