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.Continue reading “Environment and Forest Clearances for Dam Projects in 2021”
The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) for River Valley Projects,
Ministry of Environment and Forest Officials, Government of India
1. Dr. K. Gopakumar (Chairman), Professor, Department of Electronic Systems
Engineering (Formerly CEDT), Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore-12. e-mail Id:
2. Dr. N. Lakshman, Professor, Dept. of Applied Mechanics, National Institute of
Technology Karnataka, Surathkal Srinivasnagar, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
575025. e-mail Id: email@example.com
3. Dr. Mukesh Sharma Professor, Civil Engg. Department, IIT Kanpur, Kanpur
208016, India. e-mail Id: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Dr. B.K. Panigrahi, Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, Head, Centre
for Automotive Research and Tribology, (CART), IIT Delhi, New Delhi-110016, email Id: email@example.com
5. Dr. Chandrahas Deshpande, Professor (Economics), Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research, Mumbai, Maharashtra. e-mail Id:firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Dr. A.K. Malhotra, C-6, Subhavna Niketan, Road No. 41, Pitampura, New Delhi –110 034. e-mail Id: email@example.com
7. Dr. Uday Kumar R. Y. Director, Malviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur. Email Id: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
8. Dr. Narayan Shenoy K. Associate Director (Student Welfare) Professor, Department of Civil Engineering M.I.T., Manipal – 576 104. e-mail Id: firstname.lastname@example.org
9. Shri Balraj Joshi Former CMD NHPC Ltd. Flat No. 406, Urja Vihar, Sector-45, Faridabad-10. e-mail Id: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
10.Nominated Member of CEA Representative of Central Electricity Authority (CEA),Sewa Bhawan, R.K. Puram, Sector-I, New Delhi-110 066. e-mail Id: Dirhpa3@gmail.com
11. Shri Amrendra Kumar Singh, Chief Engineer, CWC, Representative of CentralWater Commission (CWC), Sewa Bhawan, R.K. Puram, New Delhi 110 066. e-mailId: email@example.com
12.Shri A.K. Johnson, Representative of Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Post BoxNo.18, Chandrbani, Dehradun- 248001, e-mail Id: firstname.lastname@example.org
13.Dr. B. K. Das / Shri Amiya Sahoo, Representative of Central Inland FisheriesResearch Institute (CIFRI), Barrakpore, 700120 West Bengal e-mail Id: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
14.Shri Vijay Kumar, Representative of Ministry of Earth Sciences, Prithvi Bhawan, IMD Campus, Opp. India Habitat Centre, Lodi Road, New Delhi 110 003. e-mail Id: email@example.com
15.Dr. S. Kerketta, Director IA – 1, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Indira Paryavaran Bhawan, Jor Bagh Road, New Delhi – 110003. e-mail Id: firstname.lastname@example.org
16.Dr. Mohit Saxena, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change · ImpactAssessment, Ph.D, Scientist/ Deputy Director, MoEF&CC, GoI, e-mail Id: email@example.com
17. Shri Yogendra Pal Singh, Member Secretary EAC
Regarding Environmental Clearance being sought by UJVNL for the 120 MW Sirkari Bhyol Rupsiabagar HEP on the Gori river, Uttarakhand.
Dear Chairman and Members of the EAC,
UJVNL has sought Environmental Clearance for a proposed 120 MW HEP on the Gori river in Uttarakhand, and a final draft EIA is under consideration for approval by the Expert Appraisal Committee. We, citizens of Uttarakhand and other parts of the country are appalled that such a proposal for Environmental clearance should be submitted to you as a final draft. Not only because of its lack of critical information on the most important aspects required by the TOR, but also for providing false information to you, and most importantly, because of its attempt to obscure hazards and environmental impacts. The procedural flaws include 1. The lack of spatio-temporal coverage of the assessment, 2. The lack of standard methodology in assessing ecological and geo-hydrological parameters, and 3. Factual errors and information plagiarized from other reports.Continue reading “Ltr to Expert Appraisal Committee on Env Clearance for 120 MW Sirkari Bhyol Rupsiabagar HEP in Uttarakhand”
(Feature image: Yamuna river at Lakhwar dam site, April 2019. Bhim Singh Rawat/SANDRP)
Details of proposals related to hydro power projects discussed by Expert Appraisal Committee for River Valley Projects during Dec 2019-Feb. 2021Continue reading “EAC and FAC Decisions on Hydro Projects during 2020”
Guest Article by RITWICK DUTTA
The Union environment ministry issued a new office memorandum on November 18, 2020, that mandates its expert appraisal committee (EAC) to meet “at least” twice every month to “cut down the time” for environmental clearances (ECs).
The EAC is an expert body of the ministry responsible to okay or reject proposed projects – by awarding or withholding ECs – under the environment impact assessment process. Though the EAC is an advisory body, the Union environment ministry in almost all instances goes by its recommendations, since it comprises experts.Continue reading “The Real Worries about MoEF’s Expert Committee on River Valley Projects”
Even as the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) on River Valley Projects (RVP) appointed by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) in December 2016 completes three years with the end of 2019, it has kept up its record of green signaling everything that came its way in 2019.
There was just one exception: EAC in its meeting on January 28, 2019 rejected the proposal for EC (Env Clearance) extension for the Brutang Major Irrigation Project in Nayagarh District of Odisha, but it was essentially on procedural issue and the EAC “recommended for taking of the proposal afresh”, so it was not a full stop, but only a comma. The EAC failed to creditably appraise the EIA, the TORs, the public consultation process and decide on merit if the project was fit for approval. It approved everything that came its way, at the most occasionally asking for additional information. Never looking into the adequacy of the impact assessment or public consultation process or optimality of the project. Continue reading “Expert Appraisal Committee on River Valley Projects Green signals all in 2019”
“Bolo Jai Jai Baba Bhole”, the Prime Minister Narendrabhai Modi, while speaking at Kedarnath in Uttarakhand in Oct 2017[i], asked the people in audience to chant with him. Indian deity Mahadev, the presiding deity at Kedarnath on the banks of Mandakini river is possibly the closest to rivers and nature among all the deities, as is also clear from his attire. Baba Bhole is one of the many names of this deity. Incidentally, the massive, controversial Pancheshwar Dam a pet project of Mr Modi will also submerge the Pancheshwar Mahadev Temple, where too, the presiding deity is same Bhole Baba. But we will come back to Bhole Baba. Continue reading “Who exactly needs the Pancheshwar Dam?”
Above: Ken Yamuna Confluence at Chilla Ghat (Photo by Siddharth Agarwal)
We are thankful & glad that Dr Sharad Jain has responded to our open letter to MoEF, circulated through email and blog[i] that he holding the charge of NWDA Director General and Chairman of Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) on River Valley and Hydropower Projects (RVP) involves Conflict of Interest. We are also thankful that through the Indian Express report (on June 3, 2017), he has provided another set of answers.
Unfortunately, Dr Jain, all this only expose our lack of basic understanding as to WHAT CONSTITUTES CONFLICT OF INTEREST. You have failed in trying to defend the indefensible, and we would rather urge you to resign as we continue this debate. Continue reading “Thanks, Dr Sharad Jain: But Plz step down from EAC: Let us understand Conflict of Interest!”
May 30, 2017
Dr. Harsh Vardhan,
Union Minister of State of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (Independent Charge)
Paryavaran Bhawan, Jor Bagh, Delhi 110 003
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com (PS to MoEF Minister)
We have just learnt that Prof Sharad Jain of NIH, Roorkee, and chairman of Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) on River Valley and Hydropower Projects (RVP), is also holding additional charge of DG of NWDA, see: http://www.nwda.gov.in/writereaddata/linkimages/6419983647.pdf. His office just told one of us that he has been holding this charge since about three months already.
This is a clear case of conflict of interest. As you know, a number of NWDA projects come to EAC for approval at various stages. One such project that came before the EAC headed by Dr. Jain was the Ken Betwa project, which the committee headed by Dr. Jain promptly cleared in very first meeting of the reconstituted EAC in Dec 2016, weeks before Dr. Jain took over as Director General of NWDA, over ruling the issues that earlier four meetings of the EAC had raised about this project. How can one expect that the EAC chairman would be able to objectively, independently and scientifically appraise a project of the organisation (NWDA in this case) of which he is the Director General?
Under the circumstances, we believe there is no option, except that you must ask Dr. Jain to resign from his post as chairman of EAC, as his holding additional charge of NWDA DG, and already in conflict of interest. We also request you to ask the EAC to review their decision about Ken Betwa Project (and any other NWDA project) that the current EAC may have appraised, after appointing a new chairman of EAC.
We would like to bring to your attention that there is already a precedent in this context when in 2009, the then chairman of the EAC (RVP), Dr P Abraham was asked to resign since he was also director of hydropower companies whose projects came before EAC headed by him.
We hope you will act promptly on this issue. There is some urgency of this since the next meeting of EAC (RVP) is on May 31, 2017, that is tomorrow.
1. Prof Brij Gopal (Retired Prof from JNU, Delhi), Centre for Inland Waters in South Asia, Jaipur, firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Dr E A S Sarma, former Secretary, Govt of India, Vishakhapatnam, email@example.com
3. Dr Bharat Jhunjhunwala (Formerly with IIM Bangalore), Uttarakhand, firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Vimal Bhai, MATU jan Sangathan, Uttarakhand, email@example.com
5. Shripad Dharmadhikary, Manthan Adhyayan Kendra, Pune, firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Dr Raghu Chundawat & Joanna Van Gruisen, Baavan, Bagh Aap Aur Van Trust, Panna, Bundelkhand, email@example.com
7. Pushp Jain, Director, ERC Resource Centre, Delhi, firstname.lastname@example.org
8. Gunjan Mishra, Banda, Bundelkhand, email@example.com
9. Dipani Sutaria, (James Cook University, Australia), Ahmedabad, firstname.lastname@example.org
10. Dr. A.J.T Johnsingh, Bengaluru, email@example.com
11. Suman Jumani, Senior Research Fellow, Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy and Learning, Bengaluru, firstname.lastname@example.org
12. Manu Bhatnagar, Delhi, email@example.com
13. Cara Tejpal, Sanctuary Nature Foundation, Mumbai, firstname.lastname@example.org
14. Siddharth Agarwal, Veditum India Foundation, Kolkata, email@example.com
15. Himanshu Thakkar, South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers & People, Delhi.
16. Dr Bhartendu Prakash, Kisan Vigyan Kendra & Grameen Vigyan Vikas Trust, Bundelkhand, UP, firstname.lastname@example.org
17. Dr Latha Anantha, River Research Centre, Kerala, email@example.com
18. Theophilus, Munsiari, Uttarakhand, firstname.lastname@example.org
19. K Ramnarayan, Himal Prakriti, Munsiari, Uttarakhand, email@example.com
20. Malika Virdi, Himal Prakriti, Munsiari, Uttarakhand, firstname.lastname@example.org
21. Prof Sunil Kumar Choudhary,Prof. & Head, University Dept. of Botany, T. M. Bhagalpur University, Bhagalpur, email@example.com, 09431875861
Copy to: 1. EAC (River Valley Projects) members
2. Prime Minister’s office
- June 1, 2017: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/chief-of-eac-on-rivers-faces-conflict-of-interest-charge/articleshow/58937121.cms
- June 1, 2017: https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/environment/2017/05/31/ken-betwa-river-linking-project-a-clear-case-of-conflict-of-interest
In an unprecedented first ever Audit report, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) which recently conducted Performance Audit on ‘Environmental Clearance and Post Clearance Monitoring’ has unambiguously stated that the existing processes for grant of Environmental Clearance are fraught with serious violations, noncompliance and deficiencies.[i] In fact River Valley and Hydroelectric Projects have been highlighted for poorest quality of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Reports, maximum irregularities during Public Hearings, and non-compliance of Environmental Clearance conditions.
This is a resounding slap on the face of the functioning of the current and past Expert Appraisal Committee’s (EACs on Dams and vindicates and validates what SANDRP and other civil society groups have been saying for long. This is indeed much needed critical feedback when EAC is seeking to make its proceedings less and less transparent and providing false justifications for the same. Continue reading “CAG validates concerns about shoddy environmental appraisal of Dams”
December 27, 2016