Activists protesting against the Pancheshwar dam project have alleged that environmental and forest clearances are being taken for two separate dams in the name of one Pancheshwar dam (Pancheshwar multipurpose development project)
NAINITAL: Activists protesting against the Pancheshwar dam project have alleged that environmental and forest clearances are being taken for two separate dams in the name of one Pancheshwar dam (Pancheshwar multipurpose development project).
“There should have been separate public hearing of the 95-meter-high concrete Rupaligad dam of 240 MW which lies 27 km below Pancheshwar dam. It is in no way part of the Pancheshwar multipurpose hydro power project. The government is projecting both as a single entity and taking environmental clearances and that is unlawful,” said Vimal Bhai, an activist associated with Matu Jan Sangathan.
According to the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of ‘Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project’, two dams are to be built for the project. The first dam will be 315-meter high in Pancheshwar, whose capacity is estimated to be 4,800 MW. And the second dam is to be constructed at Rupaligad, 27 km below of Pancheshwar. The capacity of this dam will be 240 MW.
Vimal Bhai said, that he had met member secretary of the ‘Environment Appraisal Committee’ on this matter, “On October 25, when the Environment Appraisal Committee was meeting in Delhi for environmental clearance of the Pancheshwar dam, before that we raised this issue with the member secretary of the committee. He heard our concerns and we hope that the appraisal committee will take care of these irregularities.”
P C Tiwari, president of Uttarakhand Parivartan Party, said, “There are so many irregularities in the DPR prepared for the Pancheshwar dam. The government’s intention of taking environmental clearances by showing the two different projects simultaneously shows how irresponsible the government is about the environment. They are just taking clearances for formality.”
The activists also alleged that the authorities are violating the Forest Rights Act 2006. They claim that the administration is misleading people by going into the villages and collecting forest clearance from the villagers.
Source : TNN