Uttaranchal High Court ask Govt. authorities and T.H.D.C. to file a detailed reply in Tehri Dam Case
A legal notice issued to State of Uttaranchal dated 14.8.04 on closing down the diversion Tunnel T-1 by Adv. Sanjay Parikh on behalf of petitioner Mr. N. D. Jayal and Mr. Shekhar Singh. Notice was addressed to Shri Arvind Singh Hyanki, Additional Secretary, Government of Uttaranchal said, “On the basis of recommendations of PLMC after conducting two site visits in June, 2003 and November 2003, IMRC in its meeting held on 14.11.2003 under the chairmanship of Secretary, MoEF reviewed the status and as per the decision of IMRC in the said meeting, Diversion Tunnel T-1 has been closed in January, 2004 and T-2 is yet to be closed. This action of closure of Diversion Tunnel T-1 is not in violation of the judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court dated 1.9.03 as alleged”.
In the Supreme Court Judgment dated 1-9-03, on Tehri Dam Project it was clearly written that:
“To ensure that all the conditions for environmental clearance are fulfilled and for proper monitoring, we transfer all these cases to the High Court of Uttaranchal to be dealt with by a Division Bench. The High Court shall deal with these matters as if filed before it and shall not be open to re-examine the matters such as safety of the dam and other aspects relating to implementation of conditions contained in the Government orders which have been decided in this case”
On 18-12-04 Petitioners Mr. N. D. Jayal and Mr. Shekhar Singh file an application in the High Court of Uttaranchal. They request the apex court that the following aspects are required to be looked into and required directions be given:
(i) Status of the rehabilitation in the urban and rural areas.
(ii) Environment clearance which were required to be done within time frame including the catchment area treatment, command area development etc.
(iii) Why Tunnel T-1 was closed down when all aspects of rehabilitation environment were not complied with by the authorities.
(iv) Participation of the affected people in the decision making process of the Monitoring Committee to make the whole exercise transparent;
- Rehabilitation has been recognised as part of Article 21 of the Constitution and, therefore, all decisions pertaining to that have to be just, fair and reasonable.
- MoEF, as the nodal ministry, be directed to file its quarterly report before this Hon’ble Court with a copy to the applicants.
The Applicants/Petitioners, therefore, pray that in the facts and circumstances of the present case, this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to: -
i) Direct the respondent authorities to file an up-to-date status of rehabilitation in the urban and rural areas;
ii) Take action against the authorities/officials who were responsible for closure of Tunnel T-1 in violation of the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court;
iii) Direct the respondent authorities to file a status report with regard to various projects concerning environmental clearance, namely, catchment area treatment, command area development etc.
- Direct the respondent authorities to produce reports of the Coordination Committee and Monitoring Committee;
- Direct that the affected people will be permitted to participate in the meetings of the Coordination Committee and Monitoring Committee so that the whole exercise of implementation of judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court becomes transparent;
- Direct the respondent authorities to continue to file status reports on quarterly basis before this Hon’ble Court to facilitate proper monitoring of the project; and
- Pass such other and further orders as this Hon’ble Court may deem fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of the case.
On 21-12-04, case was hard by a bench of two Judges, as Justice V. S. Sirpurkar (Chief Justice of High Court) and Justice Rajesh Tandon. They ask Govt. authorities to file a detailed reply on this application in the first week of February because High Court will be open then after winter holidays.
Meanwhile it is important that recently Chief Minister of Uttaranchal had said that the Tehri Dam will work soon and inauguration will by Mrs. Sonia Gandhi in February 2005.
The rehabilitation situation is:--
- Approximately 70% rural population still in old villages while they did not get land or not fully get rehabilitation packages.
- Even the eligible list of village Chham oustees is not prepared yet.
- Central Monitoring committee is not visiting, as they have to visit every, after three months.
- State level co-ordination committee is not sitting since July 2003.
- The bride who will be over Bhagirathi river is not ready. This bridge is for more then 80,000 people who are residing in cut-off area.