Tuesday, 3 April 2012

URGENT: Rivers health in danger!

Mr. T. Chatterjee
Ministry of Environment and Forest
Environment Bhavan, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road
New Delhi 110003
Mr. Jai Raj
Member secretary
Uttarakhand State Environment conservation and Pollution control Board
E-115, Nehru colony, Dehradoon, Uttarakhand

Ref: Rivers health in danger:
Violation of Environment norms in Hydro Electric Project and others of Uttarakhand

Dear Sirs,
Since some years we, Matu jansangthan are raising the issues related with Hydro Electric Projects in Uttarakhand with your offices. But till today we have not seen any serious attempt from your office to address these issues.
Today the situation of Rivers have become frightening. Due to HEPs rivers are already in danger. Most of the course of river are in the tunnels or in the reservoir. After the HEPs rivers have become dumping areas of muck and garbage. Before HEPs the health of rivers was not as bad as it is in today's Uttarakhand. HEPs companies are putting muck in the Rivers, and this can be seen any where in HEPs areas. This has been happening in complete disregard of their Environment Clearances (EC).
There is no monitoring whatsoever of the water quantity in the river after diversion of river into the tunnels run-off the river HEPs or in the down stream of the reservoir HEPs.
AND the garbage on Tehri Dam reservoir is unbearable. Now the Bhagirathiganga water has become untouchable for the people living around the reservoir. It is both tragic and pathetic that the same water is being supplied to the New Tehri Town. This again is a violation of its EC, which says that there needs to be a master plan for the oustees. We are forced to ask: Is this is the master plan?
Also due to widening the roads by Border Road Organisation and other, all the excavation are putting in the river without taking care of any environment rule.
For example we are attaching some of the pix and giving you-tube links from the Bhagirathiganga Valley where you can easily see and understand the situation.
  1. Dry Bhagirathiganga after the Maneri-bhali HEP phase-1 18 Feb, 2012. (IMG_1158)

  2. This pic shows that how the muck form the Maneri-bhali HEP dumped into Bhagirathiganga, near Dharasu band. All of this is going into Tehri HEP reservoir ahead. Also note the minimal water level in the river dated 17 Feb. 2012 (.JPG)

  3. Lecage in Koteshwer HEP on Bhagirathignaga, down stream of Tehri HEP 28 Dec. 2011. IMG_0390

  4. Garbage on Tehri Dam reservoir SC07697


  5. Retaining wall Manri-Bhali Phase-2 collapsed DSC07740.JPG


      Videos links on youtube--------
Bandh Katha (6)
Environmental violations in Tapovan Vishnugad Hydro Electric Project (520MW) in Chamoli District, Uttarakhand State, India on River Alaknandaganga. 20 February, 2012
Bandh Katha (7)
Under construction Vishnugad Pipalkoti Hydro Electric Project (444MW), in Chamoli District of Uttarakhand state, another disaster on free flowing Alaknandaganga river and its inhabitants.
Bandh Katha (8)
In under construction Singoli-Bhatwari HEP, muck directly putting in Tamar Gad which meets River Mandakini, District Chamoli, Uttarakhand, dated 22-02-12
Bandh Katha (9)
Maneri-Bhali-2 HEP (304 MW), Bhagirathiganga, District Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, collapsed retaining wall, no Rehabilitation, garbage in reservoir.MP4
Bandh Katha (10)
Maneri-bhali-1 (90 MW), Bhagrathiganga, District Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand. Due to releasing of water for generating electricity two boy stuck in the middle of the river, in the evening. No immediate rescue arrangement were their. This is men made disaster 17-02-2012.
We hope and demand from you:-
  • Take serious action on the violations pointed out above by this communication and restore the rivers health.
  • Take action and fix liability of the culprit HEPs and other companies.
  • Evolve and put in place a permanent monitoring mechanism at your end so that such monitoring is not dependent on reports furnished by the involved HEPs, (You may note that this is mandatory legal requirement in their ECs) and such a mechanism ensures that in future HEPs companies do not take advantage by making rivers a dumping area of muck and other garbage.

Puran Singh Rana
  1. C.-- Mr. J.M. Mouskar, Special Secretary in MoEF
Mr. Ankur Kansal, Assistant Environment Officer in USECPCB

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