Dams · Drought · Interlinking of RIvers · Jammu and Kashmir · Uttarakhand

India facing its worst water crisis ever: Himanshu Thakkar

Find below interview of SANDRP coordinator Himanshu Thakkar by Aditi Phadnis, Business Standard. The interview was published in Business Standard on the 14th May 2016 (http://www.business-standard.com/article/opinion/india-facing-its-worst-water-crisis-ever-himanshu-thakkar-116051400704_1.html)


Environmental activist and water expert Himanshu Thakkar tells Aditi Phadnis that India needs a comprehensive water-use policy immediately.

You are quoted as saying that India is in the grip of its worst hydrological crisis ever. Isn’t that a bit drastic? After all, India has endured endemic in many parts of the country for several years now. What makes you so pessimistic?

I do not think it is statement of pessimism but possibly reflects a reality. What we are seeing this year is unprecedented in many respects: major perennial rivers like the Ganga, Godavari, and have dried up at several locations, which was unheard of earlier. Groundwater levels are at a record low. In many places hand pumps have dried up completely. The number ofimpacted, the intensity of the impact are huge. This is only the fourth time in a century that there has been a back-to-back drought, but on all previous occasions groundwater, an insurance in times of drought, had provided relief. That is no longer an available option in several places. Our rivers are in a much worse situation today than ever in the past, due to all the ill treatment we have meted out to them, including multiple and often unnecessary, unjustified damming. All this makes the situation this year much worse.

You are credited with making public a lot of information and anlysis about the circumstances of the current shortage of water in Maharashtra. What do your findings tell us about the issue of water in the state?

The first thing that strikes you about is that it has, by far, the highest number of big dams in India. According to the National Register of Large Dams of the Central Water Commission, of the total number of 5,100 big dams 1,845 are in Maharashtra. So about 35 to 36 per cent of all big dams in India are in the state. Yet Maharashtra is in the headlines for drought and water scarcity today. While nationally, 46 per cent of cropped area is irrigated, in Maharashtra the figure is hardly 18 per cent. There is a lot of evidence here that big dams have proved to be a failed water resources development model. The current chief minister did say in his famous Assembly speech on July 21, 2015, that farmers need irrigation, not dams, and dams are not the only means to achieve irrigation. Unfortunately, one of the major planks used by his party to achieve power in Maharashtra, the Rs 70,000-crore irrigation scam, seems to have been totally forgotten by the state government.

Parts of Maharashtra are facing multiple agrarian and hydrological crises this year. Rainfall deficits have been as high as 40 and 42 per cent in the last two years in Marathwada. In some districts and blocks the figure is even higher. So rain-fed kharif crops in many parts have failed for the last two years. The rabi crops were also hit by unprecedented hailstorms in 2014 and 2015. The 2016 rabi season has been hit by unusually dry conditions.

During the 2015 monsoon, we (my Pune-based colleague Parineeta Dandekar does most of our Maharashtra-related work) realised in mid-July that this year is going to be a crisis for most of Maharashtra, in addition to some other adjoining areas. So we wrote to the chief minister in August that the state needed to take certain measures urgently. This included stopping the diversion of about three billion cubic metres of water from the Bhima and Krishna basins to the high-rainfall Konkan area, stopping non-essential water-use activities, taking stock of available water and deploying it for priority needs, and so on.

The did not wake up to this situation then or at the end of the monsoon or even now. While the Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyaan, the flagship scheme of current Maharashtra government, is welcome, leaving aside some problematic work they are doing in terms of deepening, widening and straightening of rivers, it cannot be a fig leaf to hide its incompetence in handling this crisis.

In Marathwada and western Maharashtra (similarly, also northern Karnataka) sugar cane cultivation on about four to five per cent of cropped land takes up about 70 per cent of available irrigation water. We have been saying that considering the rainfall, weather situation and water availability, sugarcane is not a sustainable crop in these regions. However, even when 2014 and 2015 monsoon had major deficits in Maharashtra, the area under sugarcane remained at record levels. This was after the 2012 drought in Maharashtra, when the same issues had cropped up and the government, including the then Union agricuture minister Sharad Pawar promised intervention. We saw no implementation of those promises then. The situation is the same now.

Industry and agriculture are both responsible for the water crisis. But industries can’t be shut and farmers can’t be told to stop farming. So what is the answer?

I won’t say industry and agriculture are responsible. The kind of industries we set up and the kind of agriculture we do in any region has to keep in mind the various factors prevailing in the region, including water. When we conduct water-intensive activities in water-starved regions, that is an invitation to an inequitable, unsustainable, conflict-generating situation and sooner or later we will face the consequences. We have seen this happening in Maharashtra over the last decade most starkly.

Shouldn’t everyone be made to pay for water? Punjab has 98 per cent irrigation. It has spent money over the years, setting up irrigation channels, etc. Nobody has paid for those. Worse, the water running in those channels is not paid for either. By contrast, Maharashtra has barely 18 per cent irrigated land. What is the solution?

About 80 per cent of the water we use is supposed to be used by farmers, and I think there is national consensus that farmers in most places are not in a position to bear additional input costs in the current situation. Farmers need to be guaranteed much better returns on their produce than they are getting now. Say, if the Bharatiya Janata Party is able to implement the promise it made to farmers in its election manifesto that they should get 50 per cent return on investment, then maybe we can start talking about making farmers pay for the water, as that cost will then be included in the input cost calculations.

Moreover, a lot of users of water even in urban and industrial areas are not paying for the water they use or pollute. For example, a lot of groundwater gets used up by them, but there is no payment or regulation of this. Nor are they being made to pay for the pollution their effluents lead to.

We also need more participatory decision-making in water resources development before we can start asking farmers to pay for all the wrong decisions that are being taken now.

In the midst of all this gloom over lack of water, some states -Telangana and Maharashtra, for instance – have signed a pact to interlink rivers (ILR). Andhra Pradesh and Telanagana have already effected the interlinking of two rivers. Is this the way forward?

Today groundwater is India’s water lifeline, as most of our water comes from it and in every water sub-sector the dependence on groundwater is increasing with each passing year. So whether we like it or not, whether we want it or not, groundwater is our water lifeline. Our water policy, programmes and projects need to focus and prioritise how to sustain the groundwater lifeline. Will ILR help achieve that? The answer is no. In fact, we also need to prioritise optimisation of use of our existing water infrastructure; second, making rainwater harvesting the central focus as that can help sustain groundwater. ILR is costly, environmentally destructive, socially disruptive and a non-optimum option, particularly in view of the changing climate, in addition to other issues.

In hill regions like Uttarakhand and Kashmir, the frenzy of the floods can hardly be forgotten. What is happening there?

Yes, all across the Himalayas, the high disaster vulnerabilities (to earthquakes, floods, landslides, erosion and flashfloods) have deepened because of the changing climate and the kind of interventions we are doing there. Our disaster management infrastructure remains a rather weak link, as the Supreme Court order on on May 11, 2016 about the current drought pointed out. We seem to have learnt little from the Uttarakhand disaster of June 2013 and the Jammu and K ashmir floods of September 2014 and March 2015. As the Nepal earthquake of April-May 2015 showed, these regions are prone to major seismic shocks. All this demands urgent action and possibly course change.

Original link: http://www.business-standard.com/article/opinion/india-facing-its-worst-water-crisis-ever-himanshu-thakkar-116051400704_1.html

Chenab · Jammu and Kashmir

Open Letter to J&KSPCB: Cancel Public Hearings for Sawalkote HEP for violations

Above: Title page of Sawalkote EIA Executive Summary

January 14, 2016


J&K State Pollution Control Board,

Parivesh Bhawan, Forest Complex, Gladni, Narwal, transport Nagar,

Jammu (J&K) Telephone Nos:- 0191-2476925, 2476927

  1. Sh. Abdul Razak, IFS

Chairman, J&K State Pollution Control Board, Mob:- +91-9419188852, chairman87jkspcb@gmail.com

  1. Sh. Vasu Yadav, IFS

Member Secretary, J&K State Pollution Control Board, Mob:- 0194-2311165, membersecretaryjkspcb@gmail.com

  1. Regional Director, Jammu,

J&K State Pollution Control Board, Jammu. Email:  regionaldirectorspcbjmu@gmail.com

Sub: Violations in public hearing for 1856 MW Sawalkote HEP

in Ramban, Udhampur and Reasi districts in J&K

Respected Chairman, Member Secretary and Regional Director,

We understand from J&K SPCB website that the pubic hearings for the proposed 1856 MW Sawalkote Hydropower project is to be held in Udhampur (Village Panchari), Reasi (Village Mahore) and Ramban (Village Tanger) districts at 10 am on January 18, 21 and 28, 2016 respectively. However, we notice a number of problems in this context, some of the key ones include: Continue reading “Open Letter to J&KSPCB: Cancel Public Hearings for Sawalkote HEP for violations”

Jammu and Kashmir

Phutkal landslide dam bursts in Zanskar valley, flood creates extensive damage in 2015

NRSC image of blockade 240315
NRSC image of blockade 240315

Marking a significant failure of India’s Disaster Management apparatus, the massive dam created by landslide on the Phutkal River in Zanskar Valley[1] in Kargil district in Jammu and Kashmir burst on May 7, 2015, leading to extensive damage to the bridges, culverts, some buildings and land along the river. Continue reading “Phutkal landslide dam bursts in Zanskar valley, flood creates extensive damage in 2015”

Chenab · Floods · Jammu and Kashmir

Why does Central Water Commission have no flood forecasting for Jammu & Kashmir? Why this neglect by Central Government?

During Sept 4-6, 2014 Jammu and Kashmir in North India is facing one of the worst floods. NDTV[1] has reported that these are the worst floods in 60 years (The Times of India reported that this was worst flood of the state since independence based on number of casualties.). More than 160 people have died and some 2500 villages are affected (1615 in the valley, rest in Jammu), out of which 450 are completely submerged (390 in valley)[2]. Over 10 000 people are stranded across the state. The flood has affected almost all 10 districts in the Jammu region. J&K Chief Minister admitted that the rescuers have yet to reach the worst affected South Kashmir region. Jammu Srinagar Highway has remained blocked for over three days. Several rivers have been flowing above the danger mark and most parts of south Kashmir, including Pulwama, Anantnag and Kulgam districts have been submerged. Jhelum was flowing at 30.7 ft in South Kashmir, 7 ft above the danger mark. Chenab river was also flowing above the danger mark at several places.


Authorities have declared the bridge over the Chenab in Akhnoor unsafe for traffic. Source: Vinay Saraf's facebook post
Authorities have declared the bridge over the Chenab in Akhnoor unsafe for traffic. Source: Vinay Saraf’s facebook post

Unprecedented floods Landslides triggered by heavy rainfall have damaged roads, dozens of bridges, buildings and crops. As many as 40 people went missing after a landslide in Thanamandi area of Rajouri district in Jammu region. Heavy rain in the catchment areas of Jhelum river has so far submerged more than 100 villages in the south Kashmir districts of Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian, Pulwama, where the river was still rising, as well as the north Kashmir districts of Ganderbal, Srinagar and Badgam[3]. The flood has surpassed the 1992 memories and revived the 1959 flood memories[4].

Flood Forecast map of CWC has no sites to forecast floods in J & K
Flood Forecast map of CWC has no sites to forecast floods in J & K

Vehicular traffic has been stopped on the Jammu-Pathankot highway due to incessant rain. Jammu is on red alert and Tawi bridge is also in danger.

Flood image from Vinay Saraf's Facebook post
Flood image from Vinay Saraf’s Facebook post

State Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather said Chenab was flowing at 38 ft at Akhnoor which is four ft above the danger mark cumulatively discharging 2.75 lakh cusecs, a quantum of discharge which equals all other rivers of the state.

The situation is very grim indeed: “According to the Army, the situation in the state is as grim as it was in Uttarakhand last year.” Union Home Minister has visited the state and the prime minister has expressed grief.

VERY HEAVY Rainfall during Sept 3-6 The state received massive 250 mm of rainfall in just three days between Sept 3-4, out of its seasonal monsoon rainfall of 568 mm till Sept 6, 2014. Rainfall just on Sept 6 was 106 mm, which is unbelievable 3116% of the normal rainfall for that date for J&K.

Rainfall Map from IMD showing that J&K received 558 mm rainfall till Sept 6, progressing to excess rainfall category in three days from deficit category on Sept 3, see the next map below
Rainfall Map from IMD showing that J&K received 558 mm rainfall till Sept 6, progressing to excess rainfall category in three days from deficit category on Sept 3, see the next map below

It can be seen from the season rainfall map see above of India Meteorology Department as on Sept 6, 2014 that J&K had received 558 mm rainfall till that date, progressing to Excess Rainfall category (blue colour code) from Deficit season rainfall of 308 mm as on Sept 3, 2014 (see IMD map below), in just three days.

IMD Map of Sept 3, 2014, showing J&K in deficit rainfall category (brown colour) with seasonal rainfall of 308 mm
IMD Map of Sept 3, 2014, showing J&K in deficit rainfall category (brown colour) with seasonal rainfall of 308 mm

CWC has no flood forecasts for J&K However, shockingly, India’s premier water resources body, Central Water Commission, responsible for flood forecasting and providing advisory to the states for tackling floods, has no flood forecast for any place in the state. The CWC’s flood forecast list[5] on Sept 6, 2014 has 18 level forecasts and 8 inflow forecasts, but NONE from J&K. CWC’s Flood forecast site has another option[6] that provides hydrographs for various rivers and location. Again for J&K it provides NO hydrographs. The options on CWC’s Flood Forecast site for list based selection[7] and map based selection[8] again has no information about Jammu & Kashmir.

J&K Flood Control Chief Engineer called the situation Alarming. Photo Source - NNIS
J&K Flood Control Chief Engineer called the situation Alarming. Photo Source – NNIS

This seems like shocking omission on the part of CWC, which functions under Union Ministry of Water Resources and reminds one that CWC completely failed to provide any flood forecast when Uttarakhand faced its worst floods in June 2013[9]. We hope CWC will urgently include the flood vulnerable sites of J&K in its flood forecasting and also explain to the people of J&K and rest of the country why these sites were not included so far.

Akhnoor flood image from Vinay Saraf's Facebook post
Akhnoor flood image from Vinay Saraf’s Facebook post

Mismanaged hydro projects increase the damage In this context, media has reported[10] that Dulhasti Hydropower project on Chenab river decided to open its flood gates DURING the worst flood period, which lead to further increase in flood levels in the downstream areas: “Release of water by NHPC dam is expected to increase the levels of the Chenab massively between Kishtwar and Ramban. Surged level can lead to submergence of the highway.” Such additional floods could have been avoided if the gates were kept opened in anticipation of floods. Such opening of gates during the floods can lead to catastrophic consequences for the downstream areas as happened in case of Srinagar Hydropower project in Uttarakhand in June 2013.

Kids crossing flooded bridge in flood hit J&K Photo Sources - NNIS
Kids crossing flooded bridge in flood hit J&K Photo Sources – NNIS

MoEF’s wrong decisions The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests have been clearing hydropower projects in the Chenab basin even without proper social and environment impact assessment as was evident in case of Sach Khas project most recently. As SANDRP pointed out in a submission to the Expert Appraisal Committee[11], the EIA and public hearing process of the Sach Khas HEP has been fundamentally inadequate and flawed and yet without even acknowledging the issues raised in this submission the EAC has recommended approval of the project. This is bound to be legally untenable decision. Such decisions by the EAC and MoEF are likely to add to the disaster potential in Chanab and other basins in J&K. There is also no cumulative impact assessment of such massive number of big hydropower projects any basins of J&K.

It is well known, as witnessed in case of Uttarakhand in 2013, that hydropower projects hugely add to the disaster potential of the vulnerable areas. We hope the J&K and central governments make this assessment on urgent basis and we hope the apex court does not have to intervene for such assessment as the Supreme Court had to do through its order of Aug 13, 2013 in case of Uttarakhand.


POST SCRIPT: This is one possible fall out of this, also flashed by several newspaper and following CWC questioned by media: http://www.cwc.nic.in/main/webpages/Flood%20Forecasting%20in%20uncovered%20Himalayan%20and%20interstate%20inflow%20forecasting%2011092014.pdf

Stumbled upon this on January 14, 2015. Hope the government will be now implementing this.


[1] http://www.ndtv.com/article/cheat-sheet/over-100-dead-as-jammu-and-kashmir-witnesses-worst-floods-in-50-years-587572?pfrom=home-lateststories

[2] http://www.thekashmirwalla.com/2014/09/death-toll-160-jammu-kashmir-facing-worst-flood-60-years/

[3] http://www.kashmirdispatch.com/headlines/050926328-thousands-flee-homes-in-flood-ravaged-jammu-and-kashmir.htm

[4] For pictures of what people are going through, see: http://www.thekashmirwalla.com/2014/09/pictures-deadly-floods-hit-kashmir/




[8] http://www.india-water.gov.in/eSWIS-MapViewer/

[9] https://sandrp.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/central-water-commissions-flood-forecasting-pathetic-performance-in-uttarkhand-disaster/

[10] http://www.kashmirlife.net/kashmir-flooded-chenab-may-witness-upsurge-as-dulhasti-gates-being-opened-65126/

[11] https://sandrp.wordpress.com/2014/08/19/sach-khas-hydro-project-in-chenab-basin-another-example-of-wapcoss-shoddy-eia/

[12] http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/flood-situation-in-jammu-worsens-toll-mounts-to-100/article1-1260718.aspx

Jammu and Kashmir

NHPC’s “controversial child” URI II Hydro Project: Some Facts

Full page advertisements in most  National newspapers in the national capital and possibly in Jammu & Kashmir announced on July 4, 2014 that India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate to the nation the 240 MW URI II hydropower project on Jhelum River near Salamabad village of Uri Tehsil in Baramulla district in J&K, about 18 km upstream from the LOC. The project was aptly described by energylineindia.com in its update on May 27, 2013: “NHPC’s controversial child, Uri has always made the news for all the wrong reasons. Earlier, various natural calamities, law and order problems, frequent bandhs and blockades, and agitation by local residents demanding employment with NHPC” have plagued the project.

The Prime Minister’s dedication of the project to nation has led to a controversy since according to Jammu& Kashmir state government’s minister for health and medical education Taj Mohiuddin, NHPC is operating the project illegally since it does not have consent to operate, which is required as per law. Taj said, “NHPC was supposed to obtain the license under Jammu and Kashmir Water Resources Act but they have not completed the formalities. NHPC authorities have no respect for the local laws.” When asked that what action the state government will take if the NHPC has violated the state laws, Taj said: “The government can close the project.” He added that people of Uri will now approach the High Court through a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against the NHPC very soon.

Broad Features of the project: (Source: CEA)

  • Concrete Gravity Dam – 52 m High (43.7 m above riverbed), 172 m long,
  • Head Race Tunnel – 8.4m diameter; 4.27 km long;
  • Power House – Underground; 4×60 = 240 MW; net heat 118 m; annual generation 1123 MU in 90% year
  • Turbine – V. Francis
  • Tail Race Tunnel (TRT) – 8.4 m dia, 3.78 km Long;
  • Cost Overrun: Original: 1724.79 Crores; Next: 2081.00 Crores (Rs 8.68 cr per MW, likely to cross Rs 10 Cr per MW); Latest: 2290 as per PIB Press Release on July 4, 2014 after PM dedicated the project to the nation.
  • Time Overrun: Original commissioning date: 2009-10; actually commissioned: 2014-15.
Layout of the URI II project as given by NHPC website
Layout of the URI II project as given by NHPC website

HCC demands mean cost could go up further The energylineindia.com reported on July 6, 2014: “NHPC involved in Rs 608.99 crore arbitration case with HCC: Civil works contractors HCC has made a claim of an additional Rs 608.99 crore from NHPC over execution of civil works in the Uri-II hydroelectric project in Jammu & Kashmir.
–The demand made by HCC pertains to two claims of Rs 379.30 crore and Rs 229.69 crore.
–The claim for Rs 379.30 crore is sought as compensation for additional time & various costs being incurred on account of various disruptions and deviation from the original contract. For this case, the Arbitral Tribunal has scheduled a series of hearings in August, 2014.
–The second claim made by the contractor is for payment of compensation for un-recovered elements of costs due to reduction in scope of work. The hearing on the case was conducted in May, 2014, however, the final order is yet be given by the Tribunal.”

Alstom Hydro provided turbines for the project claimed[1], this much delayed project that also suffered from serious flaws in construction and social unrest, “this project is certainly amongst major references for Alstom Hydro in India”!

Major Social unrest The project affects 521 families including 173 displaced families and 348 partially affected families, as per the Sept 2012 six monthly compliance report. Strangely, the project was allowed to acquire 124 ha of private land when EIA had stated need for 83 ha of private land. The project had such severe impacts and local people were so agitated by the non responsible attitude of the developer NHPC that they actually stopped work on the project for months. CEA has reported:

  • Works stopped on all fronts for 105 days from 19.03.2012 to 30.6.12 due to local unrest for demanding jobs in NHPC. Strike called off by local residents on 30.06.2012.

Major construction problems The project saw major construction problems, some of them, as reported by Government of India’s premier power sector technical body, Central Electricity Authority in their various reports are list below. Very few projects would have suffered so many problems. This also shows how poor were the site selection, appraisal, assessments, management and performance of developer (NHPC), government and contractor:

  • 21.09.2005: Civil works awarded to HCC
  • 8.10.2005: Earthquake
  • March 2007: Flash floods: Coffer dam washed away after river diversion in Jan ‘07
  • Jan 2008: Massive landslide on right side of dam
  • Nov 2008: Under construction bridge on Jhelum collapses. HCC and JC Gupta were required to pay a cumulative sum of Rs 4.39 crore against the damage reimbursable from the Contractor All Risk (CAR) policy and the collapse of the Bandi bridge, respectively, but four years later, the NHPC was yet to recover the money from them.
  • May 2010: Flash floods
  • 17.04.11: Dam overtopped in April due to heavy rains and snowfall!
  • Sept 2011: Flooding of Tail Race Tunnel due to flash flood, cloud burst on 16.09.2011
  • Aug 21, 2012: Calling it “civil contractor`s inefficacy”, energylineindia.com blamed HCC for not starting work for 37 days after the agitation against the project was resolved.
  • Sept 2012: Slush was deposited in D/s portion of Power House and TRT area due to flash flood on Sept. 17, 2012 in Golta Nallah located at the tail race tunnel (TRT) site. This led to excessive flooding of the TRT with water levels reaching up to EL 1,112m. The dewatering pumps, deployed at the TRT outlet, Adit IV and the downstream surge gallery, got submerged in water. The access road to the TRT outlet also got damaged. All this also shows the mismanagement at the project site. This occurrence impacted the completion of the balance invert work in the downstream surge valley and cleaning and finishing work in TRT.
  • Oct 10, 2012: Energylineindia.com holds “shoddy performance of the involved contractual agencies – HCC and Alstom” for the serious technical flaws in the construction work of the project.
  • Nov 2012: Contractor HCC claims financial crunch, asks for assistance
  • April-May-June 2013: Water seepage of 500 litres per minute was observed during filling of Upstream Water Conductor System and Mechanical spinning of units. Seepage was also observed in Power House area: Alstom, the E&M contractor, blamed the civil contractor (HCC) for the seepage in the water conductor system.
  • July 2013: Cracks in Power Channel have been observed
  • Sept 2013: After refilling of the water conductor system, high flood occurred in River Jhelum which started erosion of left bank of dam and some cracks were also observed along left bank hill slope downstream of dam.
  • Dec 2013: Seepage from water conductor system in Power House, Surge shaft area.

Wrong Claims: The industry website energylineindia.com reported on May 14, 2014 that the project achieved “finishing just before the finish line”, when the project was delayed by close to five years! The site was actually contradicted its own repeated earlier updates quoted above.

Environmental noncompliance The project was given environmental clearance on Aug 13, 2004. As per the EIA notification, the project was supposed to submit compliance report to Union Ministry of Environment and Forests every six months. A look at the MoEF website in this regard shows that the latest compliance report available is for Sept 2012[2], clearly violating the EIA notification. The NHPC website though has the six monthly compliance report of March 2014.

Interestingly, the project has seen an unprecedented five monitoring visits by the regional office of MoEF, that is in April 2007, May 2008, July 2009 and June 2011 (all in summer months, not a bad time to visit Kashmir!) & Dec 10, 2013. However, NONE of these monitoring reports are available on MoEF website, another violation of EIA notification.

The project do not seem to be required to release any environment flows, which will dry the river  for long stretch & kill all the biodiversity. The Jhelum basin has about existing, under construction or approved projects, but has no cumulative impact assessment. The project has neither done downstream impact assessment, nor have they done any downstream mitigation plans. The upstream 480 MW URI hydropower project, also of NHPC, and funded by SIDA (Swedish International Development Agency), has a fish ladder on 30 m high dam, but was found to be non functional during site visit. Even if that were to function, now with Uri II in the downstream without any fish ladder or downstream management plan, there is little possibility of the fish in Jhelum or Uri to survive. Local people will also suffer in the process, but there is no possibility of any compensation for their losses.

HCC also has full page Advertisement From all the available accounts, the performance of the civil contractor for the project was far from satisfactory, enegylineindia.com called it shoddy. And yet in a full page advertisement in The Times of India of July 4, 2014, HCC amazingly claimed: “HCC has adhered to its commitment of creating responsible and sustainable infrastructure.”

Facts narrated above, all from official reports and industry websites, speak for themselves, how responsible and sustainable is this infrastructure. It is not for nothing that the project is called NHPC’s controversial child.

Very pertinently, the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry has appealed to the Prime Minister to dedicate the Uri II project  to the people of J&K and also start the process of handing over  the Salal, Uri and Dul Hasti hydropower projects, all of NHPC, to J&K so that the people of state  can get the benefit from the projects as NHPC has already earned huge revenues from these projects. Going by the PIB press release of July 4, 2014 following dedication of the Uri II project to the nation, the Prime Minister did not agree to the KCCI appeal.

The PIB Press Release of July 4, 2014 (from PMO) also said: “Our objective is to tap maximum hydropower potential, the Prime Minister added… Giving the example of Bhutan, he said the economy of that country was now being built around hydropower. The Prime Minister said sufficient emphasis had not been given to power transmission lines network, and his Government will take this task forward through the PPP model… He said this project was conceived during the Government of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and we have fulfilled that vision.” These are noteworthy words!

Another PIB Press Release on July 5, 2014 (from Power Ministry) described NHPC as “a premier organization in the country in the field of development of hydroelectric projects” & “The technical capabilities of NHPC in executing hydroelectric projects are unmatched in the country.” One wishes Power ministry would have looked at  the performance of NHPC in this and other projects before giving that certificate.



[1] http://www.hydroworld.com/articles/2014/05/india-s-240-mw-uri-2-hydropower-plant-in-full-commercial-operation.html

[2] http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Compliance/8_Sept.12_Uri-II_Six_monthly%20PR.pdf

[3] http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/kcci-asks-pm-to-give-ownership-of-all-nhpc-projects-to-j-k-114070301066_1.html

[4] http://www.kashmirdispatch.com/headlines/040724639-kashmir-minister-s-disclosure-power-project-inaugurated-by-modi-has-no-license-to-operate.htm

[5] http://www.nhpcindia.com/writereaddata/Images/pdf/SMR_URI-II%20PS-March-14.pdf

Post Script: 1. According to Rising Kashmir, two people were washed out due to sudden release of water from the project in Oct 2014, local blamed the power project for the deaths. 

2. Nov 20, 2014 Fire engulfed the project early in the morning at around 4. No deaths reported, but huge damages.

Chenab · Jammu and Kashmir

Massive Kwar and Kiru HEPs on Chenab, J and K : Poor quality & cut paste EIAs, flawed public hearing

It seems we do not want to learn any lessons from the massive Uttarakhand disaster of June 2013. Two more huge capacity hydropower projects have been submitted to the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of Ministry of Environment & Forest (MoEF) for grant of Environmental Clearance (EC) with very poor quality Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (EIA) reports.

EIA reports of Kiru Hydro Electric Project (HEP) (660MW) and Kwar HEP (560 MW) proposed in Kishtwar district, Jammu and Kashmir by Chenab Valley Power Projects Ltd. (CVPP) were submitted to the EAC for River for its 74th meeting held on 5-6 May, 2014 for grant of EC. The projects are run-of-river schemes proposed on river Chenab as a part of cascade development of Chenab basin.

Vicinity Map

Vicinity Map (Source Kiru EIA Report)

 Partial map of Hydro Electric Projects on Chenab river basin

Partial Map of Commissioned and Proposed HEPs in Chenab River Basin (Map by SANDRP)


Chenab basin may have one of the highest concentrations of hydropower projects among all basins in India[1]. The basin has over 60 HEPs under various stages of planning, construction and commissioning in states of Himachal Pradesh (HP) and Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

While 49 of these projects are planned or under construction in Chenab in HP, 28 projects of combined generation capacity of 5,800 MW are at an advanced stage of obtaining (Environment Ministry) clearances[2]. State of J&K has 13 projects planned of total capacity 8,623 to 8,923 MW. These consist of at least four operational projects (of total 1563.8 MW), three under construction projects (of 1450.5 MW) and six proposed projects (of 5608.7 MW).

Table 1: Cascade Development of Chenab Basin

Source: EIA report of Kiru & Kwar

Sr. No. Scheme River Capacity
1 Salal (Stage- I & II) Chenab 690 MW
2 Sawalkot Chenab 1856 MW
3 Baglhar (Stage-I & II) Chenab 900 MW
4 Shamnot Chenab 370 MW
5 Ratle Chenab 850 MW
6 Dulhasti Chenab 390 MW
7 Kwar Chenab 560 MW
8 Kiru Chenab 660 MW
9 Kirthai-I Chenab 350 MW
10 Kirthai-II Chenab 990 MW
11 Barinium Chenab 240 MW

Himalayan ecosystem, of which the Chenab river basin is a part, is known to be geologically fragile. Cascade of hydel projects proposed on the river basins of this region would make the region even more vulnerable to extreme and erratic weather events, which will increase in changing climate. This has already been witnessed during Uttarakhand disaster of June 2013. Expert Body (EB) headed by Dr Ravi Chopra recently has officially acknowledged this connection in the report submitted to MoEF[3]. In light of this, a thorough impact assessment of all the proposed hydro power projects in this region is thus of critical importance. Various organizations and experts including SANDRP have repeatedly highlighted the fact that Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA) of all the proposed, under construction and operational projects and carrying capacity assessment (CCA) of the river basin to see if it can support the massive number of HEPs in safe and sustainable way is one of the first steps before considering clearances to HEPs in this region. Without such a study, considering any hydropower project in the basin will be an invitation to disaster[4].

Even though the MoEF sanctioned TORs for cumulative impact assessments of the HEPs on Chenab in HP in February 2012, this critical task was entrusted to the Directorate of Energy, Government of Himachal Pradesh. This is a clear case of conflict of interest. Further the project specific ECs were delinked from the CIAs[5].

More importantly, no such study has been initiated in Chenab basin in J&K or in the Chenab basin as a whole. State of Jammu and Kashmir is not even considering CIA of HEPs on Chenab in the state as MoEF has not asked for it yet. CIA of the entire Chenab basin including HP and J&K is not being considered, which itself is violating MoEFs Office Memorandum dated May 28 2013. The OM states that all states were to initiate carrying capacity studies within three months from the date of the OM No. J-11013/I/2013-IA-I. Since this has not happened in case of Chanab basin in J&K, considering any more projects in the basin for Environmental clearance will be in violation of the MoEF OM.

On Cumulative Impact Assessment, the OM said, “While, first project in a basin could come up without insisting on cumulative impact study, for all subsequent hydro-power projects in the basin, it should be incumbent on the developer of second/ other project(s) to incorporate all possible and potential impacts of the other project (s) in the basin to get a cumulative impact assessment done.” The EIA of both the projects does not include the cumulative impacts.

MoEF continues to give clearances to individual HEP projects despite of poor quality Project Feasibility Reports (PFRs) and EIA reports submitted for appraisal. Kiru & Kwar EIA reports are a classic example of such poorly conducted EIAs. The EIAs demonstrate several serious issues across various stages from TOR non-compliance, non assessment of impacts, cut and paste job, lack of any references, faulty public hearings, the issued raised at public hearings have not been addressed in EIAs, as statutorily required. SANDRP recently made detailed submissions to EAC highlighting these issues for both the projects. Some highlights below:

Copy paste job while preparing EIA reports Both the reports are prepared by a consortium of RS Envirolink Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (Gurgaon) and Jammu University. Kiru EIA report demonstrates a casual approach towards impact prediction and proposing mitigation measures in EMP. The report also misses out on a number of important aspects of EIA like impact of construction activities on geology, flora fauna, impact of climate change, cumulative impacts of cascade development in Chenab basin etc. While Kiru EIA is inadequate on several fronts it was utterly shocking to discover that Kwar EIA report is a complete replica of the Kiru EIA Report. Entire text, save project specific numbers, remains the same in both reports, to the extent that the Kwar EIA report mentions Kiru instead of Kwar at several places!! The impact prediction for both the cases is so vague and generic that the changes in numbers for project-specific details like proposed installed capacity, submergence of reservoir, FRL, head race tunnels etc. do not reflect at all in the reports!

Brief Project Profiles Kiru H.E. Project and Kwar H.E. Project are run-of-river schemes proposed on river Chenab located in the district Kishtwar of J&K.

Kiru HEP envisages the construction of a 193 m long and 123 m high concrete gravity dam above the river bed across river Chenab at village Kiru with four intake, four pressure shafts, an underground powerhouse of 4 units of 165 MW each. Impoundment will cover an area of 1.03 Km extending 6.5 km upstream of dam. The average river bed level at the dam site is about EL 1394 m corresponding to an FRL of 1515 m, the gross storage of the reservoir is 41.50 Mcum and area under submergence is 1.03 Km.

Proposed dam site for Kiru HEP

Proposed dam site for Kiru HEP(Source Kiru EIA Report)

 Kwar HEP envisages construction of a concrete gravity dam 101 m high from river bed across river Chenab at village Padyarna, four number intakes, four pressure shafts, an underground powerhouse to accommodate 4 units of 140 MW each and two number tail race tunnel. FRL of reservoir is proposed at EI 1385M. Gross storage of the reservoir at FRL is 27.167 Mcum. The reservoir will submerge an area of about 0.8 Sq. Km at FRL.

Proposed dam site for Kwar HEP

Proposed dam site for Kwar HEP (Source Kwar EIA Report)

 TOR non-compliance First and foremost glaring issue about the proposed projects is the non-compliance with the TORs (Terms of Reference) laid down for conducting the EIA. These TORs were granted by MoEF. We have listed here only an indicative list of non compliance below, not an exhaustive one.

Kiru HEP The TOR clearance letter was issued for Kiru project on Sept 9, 2008, the TORs are valid for a period of 3 years, but the project developer never came back for extension of the TOR on expiry of 3 year period and has come now for EC over 5.5 years after the TOR clearance. Thus the TOR clearance is no longer valid for Kiru HEP as per the law. Also originally the TOR clearance for Kiru was given for 600 MW installed capacity. The EIA however has been conducted for 660 MW capacity. No permission was sought by the PP for this increased capacity.

Kwar project has undergone several changes since the grant of TOR on 17 March 2010. Table given below compares some of these changes. First and foremost alteration has been in the proposed total power generation. While the TORs were granted for 520 MW the EIA has been conducted for 560 MW. Number of affected families goes up by 160% and project cost escalates by 29%. The TORs were granted for over four years back and the project authority never got back to EAC/MoEF for renewal of the TOR as other projects do. Thus the TORs granted originally do not remain valid in this case too.

Table 2: Changes in the scope of Kwar project after grant of TOR on 17 March 2010
Sr. No. Parameter Scope at the time of TOR clearance Current scope of the Proposed Project
1 Total power Generation 520MW 560 MW
2 Land requirement 5 Ha Government land 93.66 Ha Government land
3 Power House Units 4 x 130 MW (4 x 140MW)
4 Affected families 35 91
5 Project Cost Rs 3386.11 Cr Rs. 4375.50 Crores at Jan’2012 PL

Casual approach towards impact prediction

 Kwar EIA copy pasted from Kiru EIA report: It is evident that the EIA consultants have done nothing but copy paste job while preparing Kwar EIA report. At certain places Kwar report mentions ‘Kiru’ instead of Kwar. See for example point number 1.7 in Index of Kwar EIA mentions ‘Need of the Kiru HE project’ instead of Kwar and point number 4.4 mentions ‘Basin characteristics of free draining area of Kiru HEP’ (p.3 & p.6 of the document). Page 28 of Kwar EIA states that “The case for forest clearance of Kiru HE Project for diversion of 29.75 ha of forest land has been approved in the 81st meeting of J&K State Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) held on 09.12.2013…”

Other than very project specific figures, the entire text for both the reports is exactly the same. Impact prediction is the heart of an EIA study. However in Kwar EIA report an important chapter like Chapter 8- “Identification, Prediction and Evaluation of Environmental Impacts” is also copy pasted. The text of the chapter is same as that of Chapter 8 from Kiru EIA report save the project specific numbers and their description. The impacts predicted are vague and are conveniently kept the same in both the reports. It is clear that no real field work or application of mind is done. Such an EIA study defeats the basic purpose of conducting an EIA.

Impact of construction activities: The Kiru project involves a reservoir of live storage 10.5 MCM, a concrete dam on height (from river bed) 123.0 M & length 193 M, construction of 4 head race tunnels (of 7 m dia and 165 to 190 m length each) for discharging the water to an underground powerhouse of 4 units of 165 MW each. The project also envisages 33.4 Lakh CuM of construction material required from the project site.

The Kwar project involves construction of 101 m (above river bed)/ 109 m (above deepest foundation) high concrete gravity dam, Underground power house complex of four units of 140 MW each, Two concrete lined 9.5 m internal diameter main tailrace tunnels (having length of 2676 m and 2883 m) amongst several other features like four 5.65 m internal diameter main pressure shafts (each with a length of 108-182 m), etc. The project also envisages 38.36 Lakh CuM of construction material required from the project site.

View of Naigarh Nala Rock Quarry at Kwar Dam site

View of Naigarh Nala Rock Quarry at Kwar Dam site (Source Kwar EIA Report)

 All these activities will have significant impact on the geology and hydrology of the region. However no significant assessment or quantification of these impacts in terms of change in drainage patterns, springs in the project area, increased thereat of landslides, seismic activities has been carried out.

While talking about the impact of construction activities, the only impact of these two EIAs discussed in the chapter is ‘muck generation’. It does not mention impacts of tunneling and blasting involved in construction and also does not talk about its impact on fragile geology and hydrology of Himalayan region at all[6]. While talking about quarrying activities in the same chapter it states only two impacts viz. visual impacts and noise generation[7]. Impacts on landslides have been randomly dismissed stating that the sliding activity may not be significantly induced by project construction activities[8]. The reports trivialize the impacts on migratory fish Mahseer by stating that the upstream migration of this fish from the lower reached of the Chenab River have already been blocked by Salal and Baglihar, Dul Hasti dams. Thus they conclude that impact of this project on this fish species is not expected to be significant[9]. Option for fish ladder and fish lift has been ruled out for both the projects stating that it is not techno-economically feasible at the project site. Development of a hatchery at the project site has been proposed instead. The impact of the project on all the fish available in the river should have been assessed based on baseline assessment of the fisheries in Chenab River, which is not done. Secondly, there is no credible evidence to show that hatchery as a management option is useful or effective.

Left Bank slide for Kiru Project downstream of Ludrari Nala

Left Bank slide for Kiru Project downstream of Ludrari Nala (Source Kiru EIA Report)

 Right Bank slide for Kiru Project about 16 km downstream of Gulab Gargh

Right Bank slide for Kiru Project about 16 km downstream of Gulab Gargh (Source Kiru EIA Report)


The southern boundary of the Kishtwar National Park is approximately at an aerial distance of 11 km away from the proposed project, it is claimed, but this needs to be independently assessed. Also, just because it lies outside the boundary of study area which is radius of 10 KM, the EIA does not consider the impacts on this national park at all! EIA reports for both Kiru and Kwar HEPs simply state that the proposed activities shall have no impact on the National park[10].

Biodiversity at Kishwar National Park I

Biodiversity at Kishtwar National Park (Photo: Travel Places[11] & Beauty Spots of India[12])

 Several Important aspects of EIA are missing

No mention of free flowing river stretch: There is no mention of what is the flowing river stretch upstream and downstream of the project. As is clear from the EIA, the elevation difference between FRL of Kiru HEP (1515 m) and TWL of upstream Kirthan II (1526.5 m) is just 11.5 m. The elevation difference between TWL of Kiru HEP (1388 m) and FRL of downstream Kwar HEP (1385 m) is just 3 m. Similarly the elevation difference between TWL of Kwar HEP (1270 m) and FRL of downstream Hasti HEP (1264 m) is just 6 m. However, it is not clear what the flowing river lengths in all these locations are. Unless this length is assessed and is found to be adequate for river to regain its vitality, the project should not be considered and it should be asked to change the parameters.

Environmental Flows: The Kiru EIA report states that significant downstream impacts related to the water quality, fisheries, socio-economic and aquatic biodiversity are not foreseen since toe power house is proposed downstream of the dam and tail water level is EL 1388.52 m, discharge will be less only in a “very small stretch of about 800 m”. This seems to show the ignorance of the EIA consultants about how biodiversity in a flowing, lively river like Chenab survives.

Kwar EIA report states that the water entering the reservoir will be released back to river at a distance of 2.6 KM downstream. The report claims that though there in no human activity in this stretch of 2.6 KM the aquatic life will be definitely affected, as also terrestrial biodiversity, groundwater recharge, use of river and silt flow pattern.

10% of average of lean season discharge has been prescribed to be released through the dam gates as environmental flow for both the projects. This quantity has been calculated as 9.0 cumecs based on discharge data of the river. There is no mention of environmental flows in EMP. Firstly, this is even below the norms being followed by EAC and MoEF (30% in monsoon, 20% in lean season and 25% in rest, each at 90% dependability). Secondly, the amount of E-flow required needs to be arrived at based on actual assessment, but no such assessment has been done.

Impact of peaking generation not assessed: The reports talk about advantage of hydropower in terms of ability to providing peaking power. However, when a project operates as peaking station, there are severe impacts in the downstream and also upstream (rim stability). These impacts have not been assessed, nor is it assessed how the project will perform in the cascade development it is in.

Some other important aspects of impact assessment that report misses out on are:

  • Impact of the project on disaster potential in the project area as well in the downstream due to construction and also operation at various stages, say on landslides, flash floods, etc.
  • Social and Environmental Impacts of construction and operation of the coffer dams and diversion tunnels during construction phase are not included.
  • The reports do not even mention Climate Change.Impact of climate change on the project and impact of the project on the local climate has not been assessed. No mention or attempt has been made about or to assess the impact of green house gas emissions from the project.
  • Impacts on the flood characters of the river due to this dam, what will be the changes and how these will impact downstream areas.
  • Impact of changing silt flows downstream from desilting chamber and from silt flushing in monsoon on the downstream areas not analyzed. A detail account of how the silt from the dam would be flushed out annually and what would be the impact of this in the downstream as well as on the geo morphology, erosion, stability of structures etc was not done.
  • Options Assessment is missing, this is crucial part of the EIA to establish that among all options, including non project option, the given option is the least cost and best option.

Cumulative Impacts not assessed The EIA report gives list of Major hydroelectric projects executed /under execution/ under investigation so far in the basin in J&K which are a part of Cascade Development. Kirthan HE Project (990MW with proposed FRL at 1764 m and TWL at 1526.50m) which is yet to be commissioned is proposed upstream of Kiru (660 MW with FRL at 1515M). Downstream of Kiru is Kwar HE Project (560 MW with FRL at 1385 m and TWL at 1270 m) which is yet to be appraised and Dul Hasti HE Project (390 MW with FRL at 1264 m) which is commissioned.

Impoundment of Chenab at Dul Site

Impoundment of Chenab at Dul Site (Source: Kwar EIA Report)

 Moreover, the EIA does not provide the list of hydropower projects being taken up in Chenab basin in upstream Himachal Pradesh[13]. The cumulative impacts of all such projects will be huge.

The report summarizes cumulative impacts in single sentence: “The increased pressure will include uncontrolled logging, hunting of wildlife, non-timber forest product collection, livestock husbandry, the cultivation in forest areas and forest fires.”[14]

EIA report completely misses out on the detailed analysis of cumulative impacts in terms of

  • Impacts on flora, fauna, carrying capacity, livelihoods
  • Impact of reduction in adaptive capacity of the people and area to disasters in normal circumstance AND with climate change
  • Impacts on springs and drainage pattern
  • Disaster potential of the area
  • Tunneling and blasting
  • Geological disturbance caused
  • Seismic impacts
  • Carrying capacity

Inadequate Dam Break AnalysisThe Dam break analysis does not take into account the cumulative disaster potential including existing and proposed upstream and downstream projects. The EIA report also does not include cumulative disaster management plan.

Improper Public Hearing Public hearing conducted for both the projects were flawed. Excerpts from the speeches made by the officials from J&K State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) and CVPP that are noted in the public hearing report show that what these persons spoke was inappropriate, misleading and intimidating[15]. Also point wise responses to the issues raised by people at the Public Hearing are not provided in the EIA, as statutorily required. Hence even when people ask for Resettlement and Rehabilitation as per latest Act of 2013 (made effective from Jan 1, 2014), the EIA talks about National Resettlement and Rehabilitation Policy of 2007. The public hearing report strangely end for both projects with the officials asking those who are for the projects to raise their hands. There is no formal provision for voting for or against the project. Such public hearing should be declared null and void and fresh public hearing should be conducted.

Poor quality EIA reports that reflect pro hydro bias of the consultant EIA is the most effective tool to ensure environmental compliance in India. Needless to state that it is of critical importance. Casually predicted, unaddressed impacts and copy paste job of the Kiru and Kwar EIA reports once again highlights the poor quality of EIA reports submitted to the ministry for grant of EC. These reports decide fate of the project, of the people and environment surrounding the project site. Such quality of the report is most definitely not acceptable.

Further, an EIA report is an attempt to understand what are the adverse social and environmental impacts of a project and weather the impacts are acceptable, if the project is viable, optimal and desirable. The answer to this exercise can also include the answer that the project is not viable or desirable or acceptable. In view of this, the EIA consultant needs to be completely unbiased and should be ready to even conclude that the project is unacceptable. However, in case of the EIA consultant for the Kiru & Kwar HEP, EIA starts in very 1st chapter with a shockingly unscientific and biased statement: “Hydropower projects are dependable, renewable, economic, environmentally benign sources of energy with ability to stop and start instantaneously.” This statement is factually wrong on many counts (e.g. hydropower project is renewable or dependable or environmentally benign source of energy). It, along with whole para 1.2 also reflects the bias of the EIA consultants RS Envirolink Technologies Pvt Ltd (with Jammu University) and we urge the EAC and MoEF to reject such poor quality and biased EIAs and take other necessary steps to debar such agencies from doing any EIA or environmental studies in future.

CONCLUSION Looking at serious issues above, based on merit of the EIA reports, as well as complete cut-paste jobs, we are hopeful that the MoEF will not recommend EC for these projects. This case also highlights the importance of cumulative impact assessment in an over developed Himalayan basin. When the experience with Uttarakhand flood disaster of June 2013 is fresh, we hope that MoEF will not commit another blunder.

Amruta Pradhan, SANDRP






[4] Refer to SANDRP studies on Chenab





[6]p.291 of Kiru EIA Report & p.288 of Kwar EIA report

[7]p.293 of Kiru EIA Report & p.289 of Kwar EIA report

[8]p.298 of Kiru EIA Report & p.294 of Kwar EIA report

[9]p.307 of Kiru EIA Report & p.303 of Kwar EIA report

[10]p.221 of Kiru EIA Report & p.223 of Kwar EIA report



[13] See for example: https://sandrp.in/basin_maps/Hydro_%20Electric_Projects_in_Chenab_River_Basin.pdf

[14]P. 306 of Kiru EIA

[15]The Public hearing report of Kiru says that Shri Sajjad Mufti, Regional Director of J&K SPCB said at the public hearing, “Construction of project should not deteriorate the environment….” This is a very strange, untruthful and inappropriate statement from J&K SPCB official. Why should the official be speaking at all at the public hearing and that too make such a statement that would also affect the atmosphere of the public hearing? Similarly the statement of GM of CVPP at the public hearing, “The most viable and cleanest of all (sources of power) is hydro power” was again, wrong, intimidating and inappropriate. The statement of Shri Khursheed Ahmed Butt of CVPP, “forest clearance has already been granted to the proposed project” is incorrect since the proposal for forest clearance for the project has not even come before FAC. Such public hearing should be declared null and void and fresh public hearing should be conducted.

The Public hearing report of Kwar says that the GM of CVPP said at the public hearing, “The best source of power generation is hydro power” was wrong, intimidating and inappropriate. The statement, “forest clearance has already been granted to the proposed project” is incorrect since the proposal for forest clearance for the project has not even come before FAC.

[16] See for details and link to PCA orders: https://sandrp.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/international-court-asks-india-to-release-more-water-and-rejects-plea-to-re-interpret-february-verdict-on-kishanganga/