Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Report-Construction of Loharinaga-Pala Dam is a Farce 12-2-2009

{An independent inspection report dated 8-2-2009 of Loharinag-Pala Hydro Power Project, 600MW}
Project spot River Bhagirathi, Block Batwari, Dist. Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, India
National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) is constructing a 600 MW Loharinag-Pala Hydroelectric project 50 km downstream of Gangotri on the River Bhagirathi which is a main tributary of the River Ganges. The barrage is located at Village Loharinag and power house is located at Village Pala, Block Bhatwari and District Uttarkashi. The Ministry of Environment and Forest have granted environmental clearance on February 8, 2005 as per theEnvironment Impact Assessment Notification, 1994. The construction of the dam is going on flouting the conditions imposed as per the environmental clearance. According to the environmental clearance, the budget allocated for the construction of the project is Rs. 2262.40 crores.
It was with regard to the violations in the various environmental and social provisions mandated by the environmental clearance awarded to the project that this 5 member team visited the area and has prepared this independent report. This report is based on government documents, reports by various news papers, surveys in the affected villages and interview with the NTPC officials at the project proponent office, Bhatwari on 23 December 2008. This independent inspection team has all the legal papers, press cuttings, photographs related to this report.

Since September 2004, Matu Jan Sangathan has been raising issues with the Loharinaga-Pala Hydro Power Project at local level and before State Government and Central Government and related Ministries that this project will be environmentally harmful, against the peoples interest and will destroy the river. Not withstanding its claims for local development the project is disastrous even for the economic development of the state. This report validates the issues raised by Matu Jan Sangathan at the time of environmental clearance which are relevant even after 4 years of grant of clearance. Hence, there is a continued opposition to the dam at different level.

On 13 June 2008, Shri G.D. Agarwal, former member secretary Central Pollution Control Board sat on fast unto death on the issue of natural flow of the River Bhagirathi from Gangotri to Uttarkashi. The Ministry of Power had constituted a committee to decide as to how much volume of water should be there in the river downstream of the dam. Shri G. D. Agarwal disagreed on the decision taken by the committee and started his fast unto death from 14 January which has drawn country wide huge support.

But still the work is going on….WHY?


The findings of the inspection team…..

Deliberate attempt to conceal the information and papers:-


The public hearing for the project was conducted on 30.7.2004 as per theEnvironment Impact Assessment Notification, 1994. During the public hearing the affected people were totally unaware and ignorant of the Environment Impact Assessment Report and Environment Management Plan and these reports were not made available to the public by the project proponent. Even the public-representatives sitting in the panel were unaware of such reports which means they were highly ignorant of the aftermaths of this project.

The people came to know regarding these reports through Matu People Organization hence in September 2004 they demanded for the reports in Hindi. The affected people demanded
  • for the Hindi version of the EIA & EMP reports and other papers at the village level.
  • To explain these reports through the social organizations in simple language.
  • To give the notice for public hearing at least one month in advance and reconvene a public hearing .

However, these demands were not fulfilled till today.

The public information-centre of the project is situated at Headquarter of NTPC in Bhatwari hence it is difficult for a common person to procure any information. According to Badrisingh, Head men of village Tihar and Raghubirsingh Rana of village Kujjan no information-centre has been established in villages.

According to the Managing Director of Loharinag-Pala HEP information is being given to the office of Village headmen. But in villages there is no single Elmira available for keeping dam related documents or not a person responsible for giving information is found. Any information letters are also sent to the villages by the people who are working in the different dam related companies. However, the inspection team observed that no public information centre was found in the whole locality. Village Heads are also ignorant about all these issues.

According to the Project manager, they provide working facility to Central Government officials and other officials coming from NTPCs corporate office. They feel only this much responsibility.
Their corporate office which is situated in Noida, Uttar Pradesh sends different required reports to ministries and offices. They do not have information regarding these reports. These are available only in the corporate office. Inspection team found that officers of project office do not have even environment clearance letter for current reference.

NTPC do not feel it important to provide information to the affected people. Even they do not consider that it is their responsibility. They said if people do not know what they want then what is the need of giving information to them?

Website of NTPC does not provide any information on

Loharinag-Pala Hydroelectric project

Violation in Environmental Clearance:- There are huge shortcomings in the Environment Impact Assessment Report and Environment Management Plan prepared for the dam. Even the conditions which were imposed during the grant of clearance letter dated February 8, 2005 are also not complied with. On the other hand constant efforts are being made to weaken the conditions.

Errors in Environment Clearance itself:-

(No. given below in the report is according to environment clearance.)




Part A: Specific Conditions

(ii) A study should be initiated on the long term sustainability of water to be received from the glaciers as there are several report on the receding of glaciers. The study should be funded by NTPC and the T.O.R. should be decided in consultation with the MOEF. -Condition of environment clearance

The Ministry of Environment and Forests later removed this condition from the clearance letter. If there is a question on availability of water itself then what will the life of dam?

Dishonest Rehabilitation Policy:-

(iii) The R & R Plan for the Project Affected Persons (PAPs) should be prepared in consultation with the State Government and submitted within three months from the date of issue of this letter. -Condition of environment clearance

Rehabilitation policy and plan has not been drafted in consultation with the affected people and not also within three months. Till today no such policy or plan has been made available to the affected people.

The resettlement policy prepared by NTPC states that ‘Employment is not an alternative to resettlement’. Following are the major discrepancies in the resettlement policy:
  • There will be only an attempt to provide the land to the affected people and yet no land has been provided
  • Small-scale shops may be provided in the township to the affected people.
  • NTPC has not taken any responsibility pertaining to the resettlement of the affected people.
  • The policy lacks permanent guarantee of employment even during the construction phase of the dam.
  • Almost each and every condition or points in the resettlement policy is vague and unclear.
  • The affected people are only left to work as labor under the small contractors and left on their mercy.

On 11.6.2006, 73 persons were working in Loharinag-Pala HEP as worker/officers and none of them an affected person or even resident of Uttarakhand. The affected people can only work at lower level since they dont have technical expertise and no such attempt was made by NTPC to encourage local youth for the work.

The biggest fraud has been conducted by fixing the price of one nali of land at one lakh rupee arbitrarily. An agreement was reached between Power Secretary, Sri Ravi Shankar and NTPC which sated that the land acquisition authority will determine the cost, calculate solatium, interest and whatever remains from one lakh rs. Will be paid cumulatively. In this amount the cost for the acquisition of land, any cost related to resettlement and rehabilitation will also be included. It also mandated that the agreement will be reached between individuals and NTPC of which state government will be a witness. Once the money is handed over rehabilitation will be deemed to be complete. After this the project affected people were forced to accept the condition of not going to the Award or grievance redressal authority. Hence, they loose any legal rights to seek redressal their grievances related to rehabilitation. In the agreement it was also requested from the state government that the respective district collectors be given appropriate orders to implement the orders. Village development committee was also forced to accept this, but about which villagers had no knowledge and neither were they given any chance to discuss this. Hence all the formalities were completed. Those who didnt loose their land in the project they lost their pastures, water sources, common village land and livelihood. The land prices were also fudged and the prevalent government land rates were also not taken in account.

Contravention of the conditions imposed during Public Hearing:-
(v) Fifteen (15) conditions mentioned in the proceeding of Public Hearing should be followed in toto. -Condition of environment clearance

People were ignorant of impact of project at the time of public hearing hence they were not able to raise any demand in reference of project. Mostly conditions were putted in a casual manner.
{The 15 conditions enumerated in public hearing report dated 30.7.04 are attached as Annexure-3.}

Violations-

  • The compensation is still awaited for many project-affected people. The local people allege that survey has not been done properly. At least 10/12 families are still waiting for compensation.
  • Bharat Singh, a resident of affected Village Tihar stated that the construction of dam has adversely affected us and we were not even told about any public hearing.
  • Village Kyarakh is a landslide prone area. The villagers told that they dont have agricultural land and incase of any landslide they will be deprived of whatever they even have. NTPC wants to construct a residential colony in this village, which is being opposed by the villagers. NTPC is using Section 17 A of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 to acquire land in which project authority can acquire any land within 15 days. NTPC is constructing its residential colony in the Village Kyarakh and Maatali.
  • The heavy plying of vehicles has caused heavy air pollution locally. The voices of the local people against these issues were desisted by the project authority with the help of police.
  • In Village Sanglai the road to the cremation ground has been blocked due the debris dumping because of which the villagers are facing problems in fulfilling their rituals.
  • The aquatic environment of River Ganges has been adversely affected from the scrap of the banned explosives.
  • The explosions have resulted in various landslides, which have finished all the grazing land.
  • No road has been built in the affected villages as proposed by the project authorities.
  • Natural water resources have dried in Village Thirag due to loss to the trees.
  • The livelihood of the people of Villages Sukki, Purali and Jaspur as well as their agricultural practice has been badly affected.
  • The loss of hundreds of hectares of forestland has resulted in deprivation of firewood for the locals.
  • Condition of the River Bhagirathi has worsened: The constant dumping of muck and the debris in river has worsened the state of the River Bhagirathi. The indiscriminate explosions and disposing of chemical effluents in the river has increased the pollution of the river. The river flowing through Sukki, Dabraadi, Gangnani, Thirang up to Village Bhatwari has been used as the waste dumping area by the company.
  • NTPC has ignored local beliefs. In January 2007, Swami Anil Swaroop observed fast for nine days.
  • River Bhagirathi is a chief tributary of the River Ganges and the opposition against the dam construction is on full swing.


No. 5th condition out of 15: During all stages of project, the local people should be given jobs on priority.

The project proponent has ignored the Uttarakhand State Government policy on providing 70% employment to the local people in any project. No training was given to the local people. So the job options are left very few for the locals. Even those who are working mostly do not have a certain future.

No. 7 condition out of 15: During construction, explosives should be used only under inevitable conditions and in the minimum quantity.

Wrong use of explosives:
  • Cracks have been observed in the houses of Villages Kujjan, Tihar, Thirang, Bhangeli, Sunagar, Saalang, Hoori.
  • All grazing land and agricultural land has been lost due to explosions which have resulted in land slides.
  • The report prepared by IIT Roorki and Geological survey of India have stated that the mountains where the explosions are taking place are currently in early stage hence they are highly susceptible to the explosions.
  • The scientistsbelief can further be strengthened by the tremors felt in these mountains as a result of the aftermath of the 1991 earthquake.
  • In 2008 the current D.C. Mr. R. M. Sundaram and other officers were made to stay inside the houses by the affected people. The D.M was shocked this time around when as a result of the blasts, the houses shook. On the order of the state health minister, Mr. Ramesh PokhriyaalNISHANK, the DM stopped the work at Loharinag Pala.
  • Over a stretch of 18 kms, the roads at more than a dozen places have been rendered treeless which have occurred as a result of the blasts at the tunnel ahead of Bhatwadi and other constructions.
  • Despite big promises being made, nothing has been provided in any villages where cracks have developed owing to the project.
  • As a result of the blasts occurred on 11/08/08 near Loharinag which caused heavy landslides on Kala Mountain rendering all the National Highways absolutely non jeep able.

Entire area has been weekend due the explosions and any earthquake may result in major calamity

How much water the River contains?:-

(vi) Minimum water flow in the down stream of barrage should be maintained 3 cusecs during lean season. -Condition of environment clearance

By a letter dated 1.4.2005 Ministry of Environment and Forest directed NTPC to maintain at least 30 cusec of natural water flow. The officials of NTPC told the inspection team that they will maintain 30 cusec of natural water flow from Loharinag-Pala and the religious sentiments of people will not be hurt but the same agreement was made during the construction of Maneri-Bhali Stage-I (working on downstream, Bhagirathi River) between people of Uttarkashi and project Authorities but it didnt happened.

The Central Government has no policy as to how much water shall remain below the dam. Only the Himachal Pradesh State Govt. through a notice ordered the release of 15% of water visible below dams that have already been constructed or under construction in the future. But the most important question here to be raised is- How much water is or not flowing below the dam? Who will look keep an eye on it?

Till now the experience says that whatever be the law, the water in the river will be released keeping in mind the project target. During seasons when the water level is low, it’s stored in reservoirs the whole day and released only at night for production purposes.

Unless and until some observation committee is not formed with the help of the local people everything will be futile.


Part-B: General Conditions


Violation of labor rights:-

(i) Adequate free fuel arrangement should be made for the labour force engaged in the construction work at project cost so that indiscriminate felling of trees is prevented.
(ii) Fuel depot may be opened at the site to provide the fuel (kerosene/wood/LPG). Medical facilities as well as recreational facilities should also be provided to the labourers.
(iv) All the labourers to be engaged for construction works should be thoroughly examined by health personnel and adequately treated before issuing them work permit. -Condition of environment clearance

No thorough examination by health personnel and adequate treatment before issuing them work permit have been carried out for the workers. Workers were put up in such colonies where there was an alarming rate of soil erosion. Landslides did occur at the place and left the colony absolutely shattered and devastated.

Workers of the construction companies are not taken care of health and security and there are no entertainment facilities too. Schemes to improve the conditions of the workers are deep rooted in corruption and no medical facilities have been provided. Work at the project is started using police force but the problems seem unending and alas without any solutions.

Lack of proper residential facilities has forced these workers to stay in different villages. Hazardous wastes in the form of human excreta, water and fuel has started taking its toll on the environment which is catastrophic. The workers told us that they were even deprived of the basic daily wages and no security has been setup or put in place for them.

One laborer has died in 2008 during the construction of tunnel for the dam. Mostly laborers are Tribal who have come from Nepal, Jharkhand, Bihar and other deprived areas of the country.

(iii) A Monitoring Committee for R & R should be constituted which must include
representatives
of project-affected persons from SC / ST category and a woman beneficiary. -Condition of environment clearance


To monitor the Rehabilitation/Resettlement work aVillage Development Advisory Committeehas been established. According to NTPC the meetings of the committee are informed to the villagers through the workers in the company. But the situation is even worse as the grievances put up by the affected people are not even considered and only NTPC agenda is implemented and thereby imposed on the people.

Now the meetings of the Community Developmental Plan are considered as meetings of the Village Development Advisory Committee and they take place without any schedule or time limit. When the Matu Jan Sangathan raised such issues time and again, only then the meetings have taken place and NTPC has always shied away from its responsibilities. In the beginning meetings have been held regularly as regards the dispensation of money for acquisition of land but afterwards people have resorted to agitation as their problems continue to pile up.

In April 2008 the villagers of Kujjan stopped work at the dam site as it was not only affecting their houses as it had developed cracks but also there was wide scale destruction of roads and underground water sources.
People were instilled with fears of dragging them to the court and hence work resumed at the sites. Protesters continued their agitation at Thirang village. In the 1st week of February in Bhangli the protests started and work was completely stopped.

Disposition of muck and excavated materials:-

(v) Restoration of construction area including dumping site of excavated materials should be ensured by leveling, filling up of burrow pits, landscaping etc. The area should be properly treated with suitable plantation.
-Condition of environment clearance

On the way between Pala and Lohari, we saw large quantities of stone and mud lying on the bank of the Ganges at many locations with loads of wire pieces left over by the explosions. The people told us that these waste materials have come out of the power house and tunnel constructions. By evening these wastes are dumped directly into the Bhagirahi River as a result of which the muck level at downstream Maneri-Bhali stage 1&2 reservoir has increased so much that production had to be stopped. This further resulted in the Uttranchal Jal Vidyut Nigam claiming Rs 100 crores from NTPC on December 2008. The process is being repeated time and again and ultimately this muck will get deposited into the lake of Tehri dam.

Some construction companies at work has even made their dumping zones at such places near the Ganga basin that in the event of heavy rainfall, the muck will flow directly into the Ganga due to landslides which is dangerous.

In October 2008 the NTPC illegally captured a kilometer of the road by using construction materials which causes great deal of hardships for the commuters. The Border Road Organization filed a case against Patel Company on 18/04/08.

People said that early on the Ganga was polluted by pollutants released from the city but now such wastes and pollutants can be seen around the dam area.

Different important issues:-

Order of National Environment Appellate Authority was not followed:-

Matu has challenged the environmental clearance in National Environment Appellate Authority. Authority said in its order dated 7-2-2007:-

The Authority has examined the various suggestions received on the aspects and is convinced of the need for reconstitution of Monitoring Committee so as to ensure strict implementation of various general and specific conditions imposed while granting Environment Clearance. Accordingly, this Authority directs

(1) Constitution of a Multidisciplinary Monitoring Committee under the control of the Respondent No.1 instead of Project proponent, as given at para (vii) of General Conditions of the Environmental Clearance letter, to implementation of the Project and

(2) Inclusion of Ecologists, Environmental scientist, Conservationists and experienced Administrators in that Committee so that the project leads to sustainable development with adequate protection to the Environment.

According to information obtain throughRight to Informationthis order has not been implemented.

Human Rights violation:-

In the dam area when the inspection team met the 5 cadre of the Central Industrial Security` Force they told them that they were deployed there to protect the villagers when they fought for their compensation etc. One of them said that we ensure that the work of companies should go on. Instead of taking the deplorable conditions of the victims/workers into consideration, these people have been made to live in fear by using security forces against them.

On 10/11/08 Roshan Singh, Naveen Singh, Ashok Rana and Sunil Rana of Sukki village went to meet the officials of the company to demand the jobs they have been promised but the company simply refused to provide them any. When these 4 youths assert their rights in front of the company officials, the latter ordered the CISF to whisk them away. At this time around the CISF personals and the youths got into an argument and the Inspector of the CISF registered a complaint of beating against the youths at Maneri Police Sation. The police got into action and booked the 4 youths on charges of Sections 147, 353, 332, 333 & 7 of CRL Act and filed cases against them leading to their arrests. They were presented before the court and afterwards sent to judicial custody/jail.

Same story was repeated in Huri where 2 people and one in Bhikki villages are still doing rounds of court as a result of cases filed against them in 2008. This is a well organized plan to stop the people from raising heir voices and make them weak.

What happened till today:-

Till now people have been cheated and the environment of Bhagirathi Valley has been destroyed. Future is not secured. The beginning of Dam Project has been started by neglecting environmental laws and keeping people away from information. Uttarakhand is facing problems of environmental and rehabilitation distraction due to Tehri Dam. But no lesson has been learnt from this past experience.

The inauguration of Loharinag-Pala dam was done much before the environmental public hearing could be held. This only shows that at the local level it was made clear to the people that no matter what this dam will be constructed. Lots of job promises were made and an important chunk of the statesrevenue would be spent and the development of the area would fall upon the dam. Also efforts were made to hide the ill affects of the dam from the people.

The devastating earthquake of 1991 that rocked Maneri, Jamak, Kasar and Didsaari villages proves a case in point as these villages were located near the Maneri-Bhali stage-1 history may repeat itself at Kujjan, Sukki, Dabraani, Gangnaani, Sungari, Bhangeri, Thirang and other villages as cracks have developed in such places due to explosions.

Constant comparison of this project with Tehri dam is done only to push the important issues (harmful effects) under the carpet. The environmental effect of Loharinag-Pala dam should be made not in comparison with Tehri dam but with Maneri-Bhali and should only be seen in this context.

In the report of Environment Public hearing dated 30-7-2004 the 15 conditions laid out are hand in glove with the conditions of Uttarakhand Pollution Control & Regulatory Board and Central Environmental & Forest Ministry which one can find in every dam clearance. The regional Environment and issues of local people have been completely ignored. Efforts have been made to keep the conditions as simple as possible for their violation and also to stay away from it quickly. Same practice has been adopted in environmental clearance.

After receiving the Environment Clearance in last four years effort has been to fulfill legal formalities on paper and keep the project going. Whenever the affected villagers and workers have tried to stop the work the effort of NTPC along with has been that the work should never stop. The obligations towards the local administration has not also been fulfilled. In such a situation people have been forced to take to streets. NTPC is using the fear tactics which they used in Singrauli Thermal Power to keep people quiet and suppress any dissent. The work on dam should go on and if people have any problems then they can give an application on which NTPC acts on its own free will.

The Village Development Advisory committee established to keep an eye over the rehabilitation & resettlement program is in a complete mess as the people are not heard in these meetings and only meetings on agendas of NTPC are held. Affected people are not given a chance to voice their opinions and if given a fair amount of chance, their issues are never implemented and not include in the minutes. These minutes are drafted in order to avoid future hassles. NO SOLUTION TO PROBLEMS.

The rehabilitation and resettlement program by NTPC has many loopholes and lacks basic human facilities, affected people did not had any participation in the policy making process. Land have been acquired using the emergency sec 17(a) of Land Acquisition Act under which a land can be acquired within 15 days, clearly indicating that land is being forcefully being acquired. The Socio-economy survey Report has not been put forward in the public hearings. So, environmental clearance is given without such an important research report.

The victims or people affected were never told about their rights or any information given out to them regarding the working of the project. Whenever the people have risen their voices/stopped work at site or environmental activists raised any questions, they have been branded as anti national and a big burden on the way of development of the nation.

Its been said that the country loses billions of rupees everyday and the loss suffered by the contractors are also compensated but the people who are the main sufferers in turn sent to prisons or put behind bars.

But whenever the people have suffered i.e their fields damaged, rivers ruined, properties destroyed due to cracks caused by explosions, ill effects on geography and environment, hurting religious sentiments and life constantly made in secured. In such times the nation has forgiven NTPC for all the above acts in the name of development of the Nation.

Are the people and environment not an integral part of the nation?

Alas one can understand the bonhomie between the Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board and the National Thermal Power Corporation.

This independent inspection only shows the gross violation in environment clearance to Loharinag-Pala Hydro Power Project. Our demands:-

  1. The clearance by Central Environmental & Forest Ministry should stand cancelled. Also according to condition no. 3 & 7 of the environmental clearance letter MoEF is responsible to do so.

3. The Environmental Management Plan submitted by NTPC has been examined. The Ministry of Environment and Forests hereby accords environmental clearance as per the provisions of Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 1994, subject to strict compliance of the terms and conditions as follows

7. The Ministry reserves the right to add additional safeguard measures subsequently, if found necessary and to take action including revoking of the clearance under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, to ensure effective implementation of the suggested safeguard measures in a time- bound and satisfactory manner. -Condition of environment clearance

  1. That, Central Environmental & Forest Ministry along with other ministries should initiate new projects regarding farming & horticulture in the dam area which will provide employment to the local people. Better training facilities should also be established.

Member of Inspection Team

Satya Singh Tadiyal Ms. Pushpa Chowhan Vimal Bhai
(Ganga Sewchhta Abhiyan) (Uttarakhand Mahila Manch) (Matu Jan Sangathan)


Rajvinder Parvender Singh
(Environmental activist form village Barsu)

Attachment:- 1) Main points of EIA critique of Loharinag-Pala HEP made by Matu PeoplesOrganisation.
Attachment:- 2) Environment Clearance Letter dated 8 February 2005
Attachment:- 3) 15 condition written in the report of Environmental Public hearing dated 30-07-2004
Attachment:- 1)
Main points of EIA critique of Loharinag-Pala HEP made by Matu Jan Sangathan which has come true today :-

  1. In EIA data of population is old (based on 1991 census) which should not be used. Census has been done again in 2001.
  2. Socio economic study was not done before environmental public hearing. Means a very important part of EIA was not there for consideration..
  3. It is not clear that how much land will be requited for the project.
  4. There is no mention of the percentage of employment to be given to the local population. And seems there is no planning for giving training to locals for upgrading their qualification.
  5. Muck, due to small landslides during the construction and due to explosion for different activities for the construction of the dam, will increase the rate of siltation in the Bhagirathi River. But EIA does not show any survey/study been conducted for monitoring this aspect.
  6. No cumulative study of different dams on the Bhagirathi River done in the EIA. This is essentially required. There are more then 8 different big-small hydropower projects working, under construction or proposed on the Bhagirathi River.
  7. EIA does not talk about the alternatives of the project, which is essential for any EIA. It further means EIA is still not complete.
  8. No mention of the minimum flow of the Bhagirathi River after the project in EIA .
  9. Maneri Bhali - I has been working since 10 years. One socio-economic study should be done in the EIA so that the impact of this project will be clear. It is important to mention here that the village Jamak that is on the tunnels made for Maneri Bhali-I, was much affected by Uttarkashi earthquake which came in October 1991.
  10. In EIA no mention of security for women during the construction of the project as more then 8200 people will work in the area.
  11. EIA said that project affected area comes under earthquake zone IV & V and provision will be kept for the same in the dam design. But no details have been mentioned in the EIA. There was a big earthquake in the region in October 1991, which was more than five on the Richter scale which led to more then 2000 deaths and thousands of injured.
  12. No mention of socio economic impacts on agriculture in EIA.
  13. No mention of disaster management plan in EIA .
  14. No mention of Compliance Mechanism in EIA .
  15. No details of Rehabilitation policy or package. Just saying “according to govt. and NTPC norms” is not enough. No budget allocation for rehabilitation.
  16. In EIA many places sentences and paragraphs ends with needs to be done, should be done, will be done, is required etc. It shows EIA is not complete.









Attachment:- 2)
Environment Clearance Letter dated 8 February 2005


No. J-12011/33/2004-IA.I February 8, 2005.
To,
Shri M.H.Rao
Additional Gen. Manager (Env. Engineering),
National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd.,
NOIDA -201301
U.P.
Sub: Loharinag Pala Hydroelectric Project (4x150 MW) , in Uttarkashi, UttaranchalEnvironmental Clearance-regarding.
Sir,
This has reference to your letter No.CC:ESE:9506:2004:GEN:05C dated 17.09.2004, 30.11.2004 & 07.12.2004 on the above subject.
2. The above referred proposal was considered by the Expert Committee for River Valley & Hydroelectric projects at its meeting held on 25.10.2004 & reconsidered on 09.12.2004. The Loharinag Pala Hydroelectric Project (4x150 MW) is a run of the river scheme across river Bhagirathi in district Uttarkashi. The barrage site at Loharinag village & power house is located at village Pala, Uttarkashi. Total land requirement for the project is 197 hectare, out of this 168.9 ha. is forest land. Forest clearance yet to be submitted. There are no archaeological sites/ monuments in the project area. The capital cost of the project is Rs. 2262.40 Crores.
3. The Environmental Management Plan submitted by NTPC has been examined. The Ministry of Environment and Forests hereby accords environmental clearance as per the provisions of Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 1994, subject to strict compliance of the terms and conditions as follows:
Part A: Specific Conditions

  1. Catchments Area Treatment Plan as has been proposed should be completed in three years. The plan is given below:
Treatment Measures

Year-I

Year-II

Year-III

Total

(I) Biological Treatment

Social Forestry
15 ha
15ha
10 ha
40 ha
Fuel wood and fodder grass
15 ha
15 ha
10 ha
40 ha
Nursery development
4 No.
2 No.
-
6 No.

(II) Engineering Treatment

Barbed wire fencing
3 km
2 km
-
5 km
Watch and ward
120 man months
120 man months
120 man months
360 man months
Contour bunding
41
41
-
82
Step Drain
200 m
200 m
200 m
600m
Stone masonry
40 m3
30 m3
30 m3
100 m3
Check dams
10
10
10
30

  1. A study should be initiated on the long term sustainability of water to be received from the glaciers as there are several reports on the receding of glaciers. The study should be funded by NTPC and the T.O.R. should be decided in consultation with the MOEF.
  1. The R & R Plan for the Project Affected Persons (PAPs) should be prepared in consultation with the State Government and submitted within three months from the date of issue of this letter.
  1. Forest Clearance may be obtained for acquiring 168.9 hectare forest land & submitted to this Ministry.
  1. Fifteen (15) conditions mentioned in the proceeding of Public Hearing should be followed in toto.
(vi) Minimum water flow in the down stream of barrage should be maintained 3 cusecs during lean season.
(vii) Seismic zoning has been revised in 2002. The design of the main structure should be based on the 2002 guideline. Earthquake resistance design should be followed for all civil structures.

Part-B: General Conditions

  1. Adequate free fuel arrangement should be made for the labour force engaged in the construction work at project cost so that indiscriminate felling of trees is prevented.
  1. Fuel depot may be opened at the site to provide the fuel (kerosene/wood/LPG). Medical facilities as well as recreational facilities should also be provided to the labourers.
(iii) A Monitoring Committee for R & R should be constituted which must include representatives of project-affected persons from SC / ST category and a woman beneficiary.
(iv) All the labourers to be engaged for construction works should be thoroughly examined by health personnel and adequately treated before issuing them work permit.
(v) Restoration of construction area including dumping site of excavated materials should be ensured by leveling, filling up of burrow pits, landscaping etc. The area should be properly treated with suitable plantation.
(vi) Financial provision should be made in the total budget of the project for implementation of the above suggested safeguard measures.
(vii) A Multidisciplinary committee should be constituted with representatives from various disciplines of forestry, ecology, wildlife, soil conservation, NGO etc. to oversee the effective implementation of the suggested safeguard measures.
(viii) Six monthly monitoring reports should be submitted to the Ministry and its Regional Office, Luknow for review.
4. Officials from Regional Office MOEF, Lucknow who would be monitoring the implementation of environmental safeguards should be given full cooperation, facilities and documents / data by the project proponents during their inspection.
5. The responsibility of implementation of environmental safeguards rests fully with the NTPC & Government of Uttaranchal.
6. In case of change in the scope of the project, project would require a fresh appraisal.
7. The Ministry reserves the right to add additional safeguard measures subsequently, if found necessary and to take action including revoking of the clearance under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, to ensure effective implementation of the suggested safeguard measures in a time- bound and satisfactory manner.
8. This clearance letter is valid for a period of five years from the date of issue of this letter for commencement of construction work.
9. A copy of the clearance letter will be marked to concerned Panchayat / local NGO, if any, from whom any suggestion/ representation has been received while processing the proposal.
10. State Pollution Control Board / Committee should display a copy of the clearance letter at the Regional Office, District Industries Center and Collectors office/ Tehsildars office for 30 days.
11. The project proponent should advertise at least in two local newspapers widely circulated in the region around the project, one of which shall be in the vernacular language of the locality concerned informing that the project has been accorded environmental clearance and copies of clearance letters are available with the State Pollution Control Board / Committee and may also be seen at Website of the Ministry of Environment and Forests at
http:// www.envfor.nic.in
(Dr. S. Bhowmik)
Additional Director
Copy to:
  1. The Secretary, Ministry of Power, Shram Shakti, Bhawan, Rafi Marg, New Delhi-110001.
  2. The Adviser (Power), Planning Commission, Yojna Bhawan, New Delhi - 110001.
  3. Principal Secretary (Irrigation & Power), Government of Uttaranchal, Dehradun – 248006.
  4. The Secretary, Department of Environment, Government of Uttaranchal
  5. The Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Shram Shakti Bhawan, Rafi Marg, NewDelhi-110001
  6. The Chief Engineer, Project Appraisal Directorate, Central Electricity Authority, Sewa Bhawan, R.K. Puram, New Delhi-110066.
  7. The Regional Office, Ministry of Environment & Forests, Lucknow.
  8. Member Secretary, Uttaranchal State Pollution Control Board , Government of Uttaranchal.
  9. EI- Division, Ministry of Environment & Forests, New Delhi-110003.
  10. Guard file.
(Dr. S. Bhowmik)
Additional Director
Attachment:- 3)

15 conditions written in the report of Environmental Public hearing dated 30-07-2004:-


  1. To ensure that there is no adverse impact on environment due to implementation of project, suitable provisions should be made as per standards and approval should be obtained from the competent authority.
  2. To ensure that there is no effect on the sub-surface geological structure of the nearby area, a detail investigation should be made and approval should be obtained from competent department and it should be ensured that all the recommendations are implemented.
  3. The minimum flow in Bhagirathi River should be regulated in such a way that there is no adverse impact on aquatic life and water quality of the river is also not affected adversely.
  4. In order to ensure that the forest recourses, flora and fauna and public life of the area is not affected adversely due to implementation of the project, suitable management plan should be made and approval should be obtained from the competent department.
  5. During all stages of project, the local people should be given jobs on priority.
  6. The rehabilitation of the affected people would be ensured as per the standards and compensation for the land acquired should be paid to the affected person on time.
  7. During construction, explosives should be used only under inevitable conditions and in the minimum quantity.
  8. The facilities developed for the project should also be made available to the local people and community development activities should be undertaken in the nearby villages.
  9. Detailed disaster management plan should be prepared for all the project and its recommendation should be implemented.
  10. NTPC should be ensured that development of the villages and rehabilitation plan as per the guidelines of the Uttaranchal Government and cooperation from local people.
  11. During the construction period, the laborers and their families should be vaccinated.
  12. The religious places and crematorium should be suitably developed on the banks of the River.
  13. During the construction of the project the sewage from the labor colony should be disposed off through septic tanks and shock pits.
  14. Information centre should be established to provide all information related to project to the local people and the people should be provided with the complete information.
  15. Full details of the projects should be published in the press and response/ grievances of the general public should be suitably redressed.

Signed by 11 member of the penal along with the then District Magistrate Mr. K. K. Pant

1 comment:

  1. This is great one to see your blog last time I see same design to my friend constraction building in chennai. Majorly used Aluminium scaffolding equipment used for glass room design. Really very gud looking.

    ReplyDelete