Tuesday, 13 December 2011

{DUU-4} News from the Bhagirathi valley 7-09-2005

Expert Committee visited proposed Pala-Maneri Dam site on 14-08-05:
People anger
UJVN violated MoEF rules: different EIAs--one showed in Public hearing and another submitted to the MoEF difference is 64MW

Project Name: Tehri Dam Project (1000+1000+400 MW)
River: Bhagirathi -Bhilangna
Agency: Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (THDC)
Environmental Clearance granted on 19-7-1990
On 15th August 2005 more then 400 oustees offer PUJA at old Dharna Place (site in), the Shiv Mandir in Old Tehri town. They discuss the water crises in New Tehri, pending files in rehabilitation department.
In this monsoon water level was approximately 659M. Which submerged and damaged this Shiv Mandir too. Whole old Tehri town now become ruins, only walls were standing covered with silt. Still 5-6 houses are standing; landlords did not take house construction assistance, as it is not sufficient.

Court Cases

Next date of N. D. Jayal and Shekhar Singh case will be 5th Sept. 2005 in Nanital High Court. This case is for monitoring the rehabilitation and environment condition.
Only THDC and Uttaranchal govt. have filed their affidavits. MoEF, Ministry of Power and U.P. State govt. did not filed affidavits.
Meanwhile petitioners have filed rejoinder on THDC and Uttaranchal govt.’s affidavits.
2) Project Name: Loharinag-Pala Hydroelectric Project (4x150 MW)
River: Bhagirathi
Agency: National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC)
Environmental Clearance granted on 8.2.2005
Matu Peoples’ Organisation and two headmen of affected villages Bhangeli and Bhatwari have filed a case in Delhi High court against National Environment Applet authority decision, Prayer is, case should be heard on merits in the authority or high court itself will hear the case.
3) Project Name: Tapovan Vishnugad Hydroelectric Project (4x130 MW)Agency: National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC)
River: Bhagirathi
Environmental Clearance granted on 8.2.2005
Joshimath Bachao Sangharsh Samiti and Matu Peoples’ Organisation issued a Legal Notice to NTPC for compliance of environment clearance.
Expert Committee of MoEF visited dam site dated 14-08-05

4) Project Name: Pala - Maneri Hydroelectric Project (At the time of public hearing it was 416 MW and now it is 480 MW)
Agency: Uttaranchal Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd.(UJVN)
River: Bhagirathi
MoEF web site said: -
The proposal was considered by E.C. on 15.6.05.The committee pointed out several discrepancies and error in the EIA report and advised the project authority to resubmit the EIA report and suggested site visit after receipt of the revised report. Letter issued on 29.6.05. Reply received on 15.7.05. A sub group of the committee visited the proposed site on 14th 2005. The proposal will be reconsidered by E.C. on 17.08.2005.

On 14-8-05 Three member sub group of Expert committee on Hydropower project of Environment & Forest Ministry has visited the proposed Pala-Maneri dam site.
Sub Group:--Chairman Dr. P.G. Sastri from Hyderabad, member Dr. S.P.S. Kushwaha, Head Division of Ecology & Forestry, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing Department of Space and member secretary Dr. S. Bhowmik, Additional Director in Ministry of Environment & Forests, Gvernment of India.
Matu Peoples’ Organisation asks detailed information form MoEF by sending series of letters in response our letters, MoEF sent an invitation dated 21-7-05, (received on 28-07-05) to meet the sub group at the dam site on 14th August.
On 14th August, at proposed dam site we submitted all the letters, which we have sent earlier to MoEF, with a covering note and ask them how the project become 480MW when it was 416MW at the time of Public Hearing held on 3-9-04. Sub group did not answered the question rather UJVNL’s GM Mr. Chhabra said it is not your concern. It is govt.’s money.
We said govt. money is ours. We paid tax on everything. At the time of Public Hearing project capacity was shown 416MW. Uttaranchal State Pollution Control Board also says 416MW in their reply to our legal notice sent to them in October 2004.
Dr. Bhowmik said we do not know and we are not concern with this. Whatever the papers MoEF received from USPCB, proceedings of public hearing etc. we will consider that only.
We told them that MoEF should stand in the favor of people and environment protection but it is playing in the hands of project proponents.
We ask paper like EIA which submitted to the expert committee.
Dr. Bhowmik said we do not have. You write a request to us, and then I will take permission from my senior.
We argued that this is our right and why don’t UJVNL provide us now. GM said we do not have now.
Mr. Shastri said why did you boycott public hearing, you could have raised your concerns their?
We said but we did not have EIA etc. and we gave a protest letter in the public hearing. Can you take any decision with having any paper?
No answer, but constantly Mr. Shashri said we would do something for the villagers.
Then villagers ask for employment. Mr. Shashri replied we do something.
After getting assurance from Dr. Bhowmik providing paper to us in Delhi, we left him. They were in hurry to go to Gangotri.
Affected villagers of Loharinag-Pala dam told to Dr. Bhowmik that NTPC is not following environment clearance conditions. Dr. replied we also feel that NTPC is not working well, they did not submitted even the socio-economic study of LPHPP to us. We are not clearing their further projects.
Villagers told them that because of testing tunnel Sainj village lost its irrigation water and Pala village shaken like earthquake.
When we were talking to the sub group, UJVNL officer tolled villager why do you come here and with him (Vimalbhai). If you have any problem you can come directly us.
People were waiting to meet this committee in village Malla, Sanj and Oungi. But could not. They wanted to submit a letter to them with same demand, which we have given to them at dam site.
Development for all, not only for few.

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