No environment clearance for Uttarakhand hydro project

New Delhi, July 19 (Calcutta Tube) The environment ministry Monday rejected a proposal for diverting forest land for constructing a hydroelectric project in Uttrakhand’s Pithoragarh district, saying it will effect the ‘highly ecological sensitive wildlife habitat’.

The ministry, under Sector 2 of the Forest Conservation Act 1980, has denied approval for diverting 217.522 hectares of forest land for 30 years for constructing the 261 MW Rupsiabagar-Khasiyabara Hydroelectric Project in Pithoragarh, the statement said.

The Uttrakhand government had submitted this proposal Dec 21 last year and it was rejected by the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) in May this year, citing several reasons, including the project area being highly sensitive to erosion and construction of roads further escalating the problem.

The other reason was the wildlife management plan under the project was not adequate to ensure proper safety of major endangered species in the area, the impact of the project on endangered species needed an in depth analysis and the project was located in the mid-stretch of the river.

However, the FAC reexamined the proposal once again on June 17.

‘The committee reiterated its earlier recommendation to reject the proposal as no new facts related to the proposal had been put forward. Based on the FAC recommendations this proposal has been declined approval by the ministry,’ the statement added.

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