Govt wants SC to lift stay on Uttarakhand power projects
Two years after the Supreme Court restrained the Centre from giving forest and environmental clearances to power projects in Uttarakhand, the NDA government has moved the top court asking it to modify the order because it wants to consider more hydro-eletric power projects (HEP) for the state.
In a fresh affidavit filed before the SC, the ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) stated it wasn’t in a position to grant clearances for atleast 45 HEP unless the SC changed its August 13, 2013, order. The ministry said it had no restriction.
A bench headed by Justice KS Radhakrishnan had in August 2013 issued a stay against clearances to new power projects and ordered the work of 24 HEPs to stop that were already issued environmental and forest clearance.
However, on an application moved by five power companies whose projects were ready to start on the Alaknanda and Bhagirath river basins, the court had sought a report from MoEF constituted expert body over the viability of the projects.
“Keeping in view the June 2013 disaster in mind, the body has suggested a number of safeguards measures to be incorporated in the design of dam and projects,” read the MoEF affidavit.