(Feature image Source Char Dham Road ProjectL Stairway to heaven or highway to hell by Siddharth Agarwal)
The Char Dham All Weather Road Project has been approved by National Green Tribunal (NGT) on September 26, 2018. The controversial project has evoked several environmental concerns right from the inception stage.
Almost more than one and half year into the unmindful implementation of the project, the risks and fears associated with the project are clearly visible throughout the construction route. In last few months, several independent reports have also raised serious concerns over the haphazard manner in which the project is being executed through sensitive hilly terrain. Continue reading “Char Dham Highway Project: An overview”
In a remarkable development, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on October 24 has suspended the clearances given to the 1750-megawatt (MW) Demwe Lower Hydroelectric Project (HEP) planned on the Lohit river in Arunachal Pradesh.
In its detailed order, released on October 27, the NGT ruled that the Environment Minister as Chairperson of the National Board for Wildlife (NWBL), a statutory body constituted under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, could not “just brush aside” the views of the majority of NBWL standing committee members.
Suspending the clearances given by the Centre and the state govt, the NGT order added that “the decision taken by the Standing Committee is not in accordance with established principles of law and hence the Standing Committee shall reconsider the issue and pass appropriate orders within a period of six months from the date of the judgment”.
Environmental clearance for the project was given by the Union environment ministry’s Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) for river valley and hydroelectric projects back in 2009. An in-principle forest clearance for the Lower project was given in February 2012 and agreed upon in 2013.
However, the in-principle clearance of the project was opposed by a majority of the Standing Committee of the NBWL but subsequently cleared by the then-environment minister of state (independent charge), Jayanthi Natarajan, who was also the chairperson of the Standing Committee.
Natarajan is currently under the CBI’s scanner for alleged anomalies in clearance given for diversion of land in Saranda forest in Singhbhum district, Jharkhand to mining company Electrosteel during the previous UPA regime.
The NGT said that it is “of the view that either the Chairperson (Natarajan) should have given a proper reason for rejecting the objection of the majority of the non-official members or the decision ought to have been arrived at based on the opinion of the majority of the members. Even though the Standing Committee is a recommendatory body, the same being a statutory committee, is bound by the laudable principles of justice and fair play”.
Continue reading “DRP News Bulletin 06 November 2017 (NGT Asks For Fresh Appraisal Of Lower Subansiri Hydro Project)”
क्या है हिमालयी नदियों का मिजाज़ ? (एन.डी.टी.वी.- इंडिया, 20 फरवरी 2014,
रिपोर्टर:- सुशील बहुगुणा, कैमरामैनः- सुदीश कुमार राम, एडिटरः- कुलदीप कुमार, एन.डी.टी.वी.- इंडिया
रिपोर्टरः- जून 2013, उत्तराखण्ड में, नदियों के साथ आई तबाही की ये तस्वीरें। तस्वीरें जो हमें मजबूर करती हैं, ये समझने को, कि आखिर ये नदियाॅ इतनी रौद्र, इतनी विकराल क्यों हो रही हैं ? ये नदियाॅ हमारे घर-आॅगन क्यों उजाड़ रही हैं ? कहीं हम ही, इन नदियों के अहाते में तो नहीं घुस गए ? कहीं हमने नदियों की लहरों में बेहिसाब बेडि़याॅ तो नहीं डाल दी ? क्या हम नदियों का मिजाज़ अब तक समझ भी पाए हैं ?
Continue reading “हिमालयी नदियों से खिलवाड़ और जून 2013 की उत्तराखण्ड़ त्रासदी”