No approval of dams until e-flow report is out: Water Ministry to CWC
The Ministry of Water Resources has ordered the Central Water Commission (CWC) not to grant any approval or to design any dam project until the report to determine the quantum of environmental flows is out. The decision will impact the Government's plan to increase the power generation capacity of the country through hydropower. Currently, a panel of experts is conducting a study on the impacts of dams on the e-flows of rivers and is expected to submit its report in 3-6 months.
Three controversial hydel projects in Arunachal get a green nod
The Environment Ministry has granted forest clearance to three hydro projects--Pauk, Heo and Tato-I--in the Siang river basin in Arunachal Pradesh. These projects with a total capacity of 571 MW have been approved at the cost of 200 hectares of biodiversity-rich forests. Also, per environmentalists, the cumulative impact assessment of the project on the basis of which the project has been passed, has overlooked several key issues as well as downstream impacts. Moreover, no comprehensive seismic study was carried out, which is critical to a region such as Arunachal.
NGT gets strict with Delhi residents over Hindon pollution
The National Green Tribunal has issued show cause notices to 45 housing societies in Vasundhara Enclave, Delhi, asking them why they should not pay compensation for polluting the Hindon river. The Tribunal has taken note of the heaps of garbage lying in and around the Hindon canal flowing along these societies. Also, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) has been ordered to remove the garbage in a week. Already 18 trucks of municipal waste has been removed by EDMC.
NGT dismisses petition against the construction of Garudeshwar weir in Gujarat
The National Green Tribunal has dismissed a petition seeking cessation of construction work of the Garudeshwar weir, a key part of the Statue of Unity project. The reason behind dismissing the plea is that it has been filed beyond the Tribunal's six months statute of limitations while all the arguments made by the appellant were in his favour. The petitioner has questioned whether the Garudeshwar project is actually an extension of Sardar Sarovar Dam.
Clearance denied to Coal India expansion plans
Environment clearance has been denied to Coal India for the expansion of its output by 50% through its existing units without a public hearing. Per the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC), the expansion will have an impact on the mine life and the livelihood of the communities. However, Coal India which is facing hurdles to increase production from future projects, has clarified that the expansion will only lead to additional dust generation and all the mitigation measures will be undertaken.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from September 1 - 7, 2015. Also read last week's news updates.