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No new hydroelectric power project in Uttarakhand: SC

Expressing concern over the recent tragedy in Uttarakhand, the Supreme Court today prohibited setting up of any new hydroelectric power project in the state and directed the Centre to constitute an expert body to study environmental degradation caused by such projects.

delhi Updated: Aug 13, 2013 23:08 IST
Bhadra Sinha
Bhadra Sinha
Supreme Court,hydroelectric power project in Uttarakhand,Uttarakhand government

Concerned over the loss of lives and property during the recent flash floods in Uttarakhand, the Supreme Court on Tuesday prohibited setting up of new hydroelectrical power projects in the state.

A bench of Justices KS Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra directed the ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) and the state not to grant further clearance for any such project in Uttarakhand until further orders from the court. In all, 69 projects were envisaged in the region, and 24 were granted environmental clearance.

Holding the cumulative impact of the projects — in place and under construction on river basins — were not properly examined, the SC said it required a detailed scientific and technical study.

It directed MoEF to constitute an expert body to examine whether the proposed 24 projects were causing significant impact on Alaknanda and Bhagirath river basins’ biodiversity, and give a report in three months. The body would comprise representatives from the state, Wildlife Institute of India, Central Electricity Authority, Central Water Commission among others.

The court’s direction came as it allowed completion of Srinagar Hydro Electric Project located in Tehri-Pauri Garhwal district that was granted MoEF clearance in 1985.

Dhari Devi temple relocation okayed

new delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the Centre’s plea that Dhari Devi temple, likely to be submerged by the Srinagar Hydro-Electric project constructed along Alaknanda river in Uttarakhand, should not be relocated keeping religious feelings in mind.

“The sacred rock on which the temple exits is still kept intact and only the height of the temple has been increased so that it would not be submerged in the water. The rights of the devotees of Dhari Devi temple have not been affected,” a bench said. (PTI)

First Published: Aug 13, 2013 20:48 IST