Ready to fight in Supreme Court as well
NHPC challenged the NEAA order of quashing the
Kotli-Bhel-1B Environment Clearance
on 15th September 2010 National Environment Applet Authority in its order quash the environmental clearance dated 14th August 2007 of Kotli-Bhel 1-B HEP (195 MW) on River Alaknanda in Uttatrakhand. Although NEAA did not take account of many of issues raised by the pattitionors Dr. Bharat Jhunjhunwala, Vimal Bhai, Devki Devi, Sunder Singh Negi.
National Hydro Power Corporation, the project proponent has challenged the NEAA order in Supreme Court of India. People decide to fight the case too. Although the resistance on ground is their. NHPC used emergency clause 17 of Land acquisition Law. People refuse to take even the notice.
Many issues not taken into account by NEAA, some of then are given here ---
Existing landslides around the area are not fully enumerated; New landslides are not assessed; Basis of width of Green Belt around the reservoir is unclear; No provision has been made for acquiring private land Green Belt; Number of affected families is understated ; No ‘safety belt’ is provided along the rim; Loss of economic resources is understated; Impact of higher humidity and lower temperature on Malaria and Respiratory diseases is not given; the reservoir of Kotlibhel-1B will positively lead to the creation of at least one stagnant pond at Kandoli; Creation of slush along the reservoir rim is ignored; Deterioration of quality of water is ignored; Impact on butterflies and life cycle of local life forms not adequately assessed; Long run stream of costs and benefits is not assessed; EIA is prejudiced; Alternatives are not mentioned; NHPC is presenting this project as ‘run of river’ while actually it is designed as a storage project for creating peaking power; Dynamics of flow of water at Dev Prayag confluence is not disclosed. These submissions are against the project and prove that NHPC has wrongly stated that there was no opposition to the project.
Oprative part of order dated 15th September 2007 by NEAA:--
For the quantum of power production, in Kotlibhel- 1B, the displacement is very high. There is strong protest against parting of their houses and lands. The stretch runs through a populated area on which people perform rituals in flowing water. Being habitat for migratory fishes like Tor and Schizothorax spp, and the habitat for otter, the area is ecologically sensitive and with storage to a length of 27.5 Km it was found to affect the riverine ecology which cannot be compensated by declaring it a ‘restricted area’ or providing hatcheries. In the context of Srinagar project, there is need for a free flowing stretch for rejuvenation of river Alaknanda before it meets Bhagirathi at Deoprayag. This free flow will also help restoring the flow dynamics at Deoprayag which is affected by Kotlibhel-II. In short, river Alaknanda cannot afford to carry a project between Deoprayag and Srinagar. Overall there is also mass public resentment against the project which has not been considered by the EAC. Merely responding the representation of two persons is not sufficient.
Ministry’s Environment Clearance issued vide order J-122011/21/2007-IA.I dated 14th August 2007 to Kotlibhel Hydroelectric Project (Stage 1B) is hereby quashed. There will be no cost.