Slamming the environment ministry for failing to file a comprehensive project-wise environment and ecological impact report on all 24 hydroelectric power projects on Alaknanda and Bhagirath river basins in Uttarakhand, the Supreme Court on 09-12-2014 hinted at ordering for a further report giving details about how each of the hydroproject contributed to the environmental degradation in Uttarakhand in 2013, killing hundreds and leaving thousands homeless.
A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra was short of asking MoEF to give further details about the six projects which allegedly have all the clearances and have invested substantial amounts in their projects, including NTPC's 171 MW Lata Tapovan Hydro Electric Power project. It also said that it would like to see the changes required to be made in their projects so that they can be allowed to resume construction work as huge public money has been spent by various PSUs on their upcoming projects in the state.
Rapping the Centre for not moving forward on Hydroelectric power projects in Uttarakhand for 18 months, the bench asked it to find an "acceptable solution" to the problem and not to come out with "knee-jerk" reaction. The Court's observation came after Centre warned that greenlighting power projects in the state may trigger another disaster like last year and their cumulative effect needs to be studied before allowing them.
"There must be an acceptable solution to the problem as a lot of money has been invested by firms including PSUs National Thermal Power Corporation, National Hydroelectric Power Corporation and Tehri Hydro Development Coporation," the apex court said.
The judges said: "The MoEF should have acted independent of previous reports and given project-wise assesment rather than filing an affidavit (based on expert committee reports)."
Source- Indian Express