1. Need for an independent committee to incorporate the feedback On Feb 15, 2023, Union Ministry of Power issued draft guidelines for Pump Storage Projects, inviting comments from stakeholders in 15 days to the email id – firstname.lastname@example.org. The publication of draft guidelines and inviting comments from the stakeholders is welcome step. However, it may have been good if an independent panel had been constituted to go through the submissions and bring out redrafted guidelines along with a report explaining how the comments were taken into account. This would have inspired greater confidence among the stakeholders that their comments would get serious consideration. It may also have been better if there was longer consultation process then just 15 days.Continue reading “Comments on Power Ministry Draft Guidelines on Pump Storage Projects in India”
Tag: River Valley Projects
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.Continue reading “Environment and Forest Clearances for Dam Projects in 2021”
EAC and FAC Decisions on Hydro Projects during 2020
(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”
Open Letter to MoEF: Remove Chairman of Expert Appraisal Committee on Dams for conflict of Interest: He is DG of NWDA
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
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org (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, email@example.com
2. Dr E A S Sarma, former Secretary, Govt of India, Vishakhapatnam, firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Dr Bharat Jhunjhunwala (Formerly with IIM Bangalore), Uttarakhand, email@example.com
4. Vimal Bhai, MATU jan Sangathan, Uttarakhand, firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Shripad Dharmadhikary, Manthan Adhyayan Kendra, Pune, email@example.com
6. Dr Raghu Chundawat & Joanna Van Gruisen, Baavan, Bagh Aap Aur Van Trust, Panna, Bundelkhand, firstname.lastname@example.org
7. Pushp Jain, Director, ERC Resource Centre, Delhi, email@example.com
8. Gunjan Mishra, Banda, Bundelkhand, firstname.lastname@example.org
9. Dipani Sutaria, (James Cook University, Australia), Ahmedabad, email@example.com
10. Dr. A.J.T Johnsingh, Bengaluru, firstname.lastname@example.org
11. Suman Jumani, Senior Research Fellow, Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy and Learning, Bengaluru, email@example.com
12. Manu Bhatnagar, Delhi, firstname.lastname@example.org
13. Cara Tejpal, Sanctuary Nature Foundation, Mumbai, email@example.com
14. Siddharth Agarwal, Veditum India Foundation, Kolkata, firstname.lastname@example.org
15. Himanshu Thakkar, South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers & People, Delhi.
16. Dr Bhartendu Prakash, Kisan Vigyan Kendra & Grameen Vigyan Vikas Trust, Bundelkhand, UP, email@example.com
17. Dr Latha Anantha, River Research Centre, Kerala, firstname.lastname@example.org
18. Theophilus, Munsiari, Uttarakhand, email@example.com
19. K Ramnarayan, Himal Prakriti, Munsiari, Uttarakhand, firstname.lastname@example.org
20. Malika Virdi, Himal Prakriti, Munsiari, Uttarakhand, email@example.com
21. Prof Sunil Kumar Choudhary,Prof. & Head, University Dept. of Botany, T. M. Bhagalpur University, Bhagalpur, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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
Why the Decisions and minutes of the 86th meeting of EAC on River Valley Projects need to be reviewed
September 22, 2015
Chairman and Members,
Expert Appraisal Committee on River Valley Projects,
Ministry of Environment and Forests,
Respected Chairman and Members,
We have just seen the minutes of the 86th meeting (uploaded on Sept 14, 2015, but clearance letters in some cases have already been issued even before the EAC minutes are made public or the minutes are finalised at the next EAC meeting) of the Expert Appraisal Committee on River Valley Committee, held on Aug 24-25, 2015.
The minutes make a disturbing reading. The EAC seems to be bending every ecological norm, facts and even legal stipulations to push ahead with every project that the government wants them to clear. There seems to be no application of mind from the EAC on the proposals. The minutes are not even internally consistent. It is putting forward facts in misleading fashion to give a wrong picture. Continue reading “Why the Decisions and minutes of the 86th meeting of EAC on River Valley Projects need to be reviewed”