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Adhering to protocol on Ganga flow, says UJVNL; seer terms claim false

Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd (UJVNL) -- a state-run corporation -- on Thursday said it follows standard protocols across its hydro power projects running in the Ganga basin

dehradun Updated: Feb 01, 2018 20:18 IST
Abhinav Madhwal
Swami Shivanand of Matri Sadan Ashram in Haridwar said not enough flow is maintain in Ganga to benefit quarrying mafia.
Swami Shivanand of Matri Sadan Ashram in Haridwar said not enough flow is maintain in Ganga to benefit quarrying mafia.(PTI File)

Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd (UJVNL) -- a state-run corporation -- on Thursday said it follows standard protocols across its hydro power projects running in the Ganga basin.

UJVNL’s reaction came after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) earlier this week served notice to it along with Central Pollution Control Board and the union forest and environment ministry over low water levels in downstream of Pashulok Barrage in Rishikesh.

They have to submit their views before the NGT by March 8.

ANoida-based environment activist Vikrant Tongad had moved the tribunal seeking an order for maintaining minimum flow of water in the Ganga canal for ensuring the wellness of human beings and aquatic life.

Tongad had mentioned in the petition that Ganga flow was being diverted for Chila power project, located upstream of the Pashulok barrage, that generates 144 megawatts of electricity.

Prakash Kulshreshtha, general manager, Ganga valley unit (UJVNL), asserted that they have a protocol in place since the construction of the Chilla power project in the 1980s.

“There is a provision of ‘Ramdhara’ under which 9 cumecs (Cubic metres per second) of water is maintained every time in the Shakti Canal that leads to Bhimgoda. During monsoons, there is a provision of silt extruders and 115 cumecs of water is released,” he said.

Official said Chilla power plant must have optimum of 600 cumecs of water for electricity production. “We have not led to the drying up of the water but taken all measures to maintain the proper water level,” he said.

Kulshreshtha, however, said the UJVN would comply with any directives issued by the NGT in this regard.

Swami Shivanand of Matri Sadan Ashram in Haridwar has been vocal for long against quarrying on the river Ganga.

He said authorities must provide more than 60% of flow of water in the main current of the river, but it is not being done. “Maybe this is being done to benefit mafia who are conducting quarrying in the Ganga,” he said.

Apart from this, the mafia catch huge quantities of fish from the canal when the current of the water is low.

He also said this was also against the religious sentiments of the people as the pilgrims were getting lesser flow of water in the river.

“The water below the Chandi bridge was very less on Wednesday and authorities have limited the flow of the river,” the Matri Sadan founder said.