Clearances delay several SJVN projects

Arun Hydropower

SJVNSeveral projects of SJVN have been hanging fire due to pending clearances. The utility has been unable to make much progress with 775 MW Luhri, 252 MW Devsari, 60 MW Naitwar Mori, 51 MW Jakhol Sankri and 900 MW Arun-III hydroelectric projects. Despite repeated attempts by the utility, the projects are still stuck at various stages of clearances.

The Luhri and Devsari hydroelectric projects, pre-construction works could not be commenced due to delay in diversion of forest land. For Luhri project, forest clearance was recommended by Forest Advisory Committee of environment ministry in January 2013. The environment clearance for the project was recommended by the expert committee of the ministry in November 2012. In keeping with the environmental recommendations, the capacity of the project has been reduced to 588 mw and the detailed project report is being modified accordingly.

The techno-economic clearance for the Devsari hydroelectric project was accorded by Central Electricity Authority in August 2012. Environment clearance for the project was recommended in December 2011. However, Forest Advisory Committee of the environment ministry directed SJVN to obtain NOC from the gram sabha of the affected village in Uttarakhand. This is currently under progress.

With respect to Naitwar Mori project, SJVN has reported that submission of fresh proposal for the environment clearance has resulted in delay in diversion of forest land due to which pre-construction activities could not be started. The forest land case already recommended by Uttarakhand government on September 29, 2011 could not be forwarded to environment ministry as Civil Soyam Bhumi has not been allocated by the Uttakhand government for finalization of compensatory afforestation plan. The case is pending with District Forest Office since November 2011.

For Jakhol Sankri project, SJVN could not start the planned survey and investigation works due to delay in getting clearance for revised proposal to avoid Wild Life Sanctuary in the region. The DPR has been submitted to Uttarakhand government in December 2011 and is under examination. For forest clearance, State Board of Wild Life and National Board of Wild Life clearance is required. The matter is being pursued by the utility with the departments.

SJVN has also not been able to start work on the Arun-III hydroelectric project in Nepal. The planned works for roads could not be started due to non-transfer of land by the Nepal government. The Terms of Reference for the Environment Impact Assessment and Environment Management Plan have been approved by the Ministry of Science Technology and Environment of the Nepal government. However, decision on the DPR of the project is still pending. The DPR was submitted to the Central Electricity Authority and Nepal government in May 2011 and is under examination. The signing of Detailed Project Agreement is awaited to commence implementation work on the project.

Source : Economics Research India Pvt. Ltd