Skip to main content

Uttarakhand power channel leak: Green tribunal seeks report on pollution in villages

Counterview Desk
Taking a serious view of the threat of pollution from the power channel of the Srinagar Hydro Electric project, situated in Pauri Garhwal district, Uttarakhand, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked the Uttarakhand government for a report on the leakage in the power channel and the resulting problems. The tribunal has sought the report on a petition filed by Uttam Singh Bhandari and Vimal Bhai, senior activists with the civil rights group Matu Jan Sangathan in Uttarakhand.

A note by Matu Jan Jan Sangathan:

In the petition, it is stated that the power channel (open canal) of the Srinagar Hydro-electric project, which is on the bank of river Alaknanda in Uttarakhand, is four kilometers long. This channel takes Alaknanda's water to the powerhouse to generate electricity. In 2015, there was a serious breach in the canal, and this resulted in damage to crops and houses in Mangsu, Surasu and Naur Thaapli villages in Tehri Garhwal district.
After this, an inquiry was done by the Wadia Institute in Dehradun, which submitted its report on 30th December 2015. The report recommended re-strengthening of the power channel and an investigation into the structural design. However, due to lack of requisite action, there was another breach in December 2018.
In this context, letters were sent to the District Magistrate, Tehri Garhwal and the Uttarakhand Government, but no response was received. The Hon’ble Tribunal has sought a report within one month via email from the Department of Energy of the Government of Uttarakhand, the Uttarakhand State Pollution Control Board and the District Magistrate, Tehri Garhwal, before the next hearing. The State Pollution Control Board has also been given the responsibility for coordination and compliance.
The order has been sent to the three agencies via email so that they can immediately follow it. In addition, the applicants have been asked to furnish a copy of the petition to the three agencies. We have delivered the papers ourselves to all three places.
Uttam Singh Bhandari and Vimal Bhai filed the petition in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) through the lawyers of Life Society, Delhi, namely lawyers Rahul Chaudhry and Meera Gopal.
It is known that the power channel of the Srinagar dam has been continuously causing losses every monsoon since 2015. These villages, on the slopes between the power channel and the river, are always facing dangers. Residents of the area have raised these issues in their letters to the district administration and the company as well as in person.
The issue has also been raised through the local MLA. There has also been coverage of the issue regularly in the media. However, there have been no positive results yet. The dam company tried to repair the leakage then, but requisite action was not taken. The villagers were also not paid any compensation for their losses they suffered during this period.
The Wadia Institute is a reputable institute located in Dehradun, which was asked to study the situation in 2015 by the then MLA. However, the government took no cognition of the report upon submission and did not ensure that the company complied with the recommendations. This should have been done since the people in the three villages in the vicinity are living in constant danger. Since the government took no cognizance of the matter even after three years, we had to approach the National Green Tribunal.

The recommendations of the Wadia Institute:

  • About 200 wide zone (across the affected leakage site of the power Channel must be re-strengthened by consulting with the structural Geologist from Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun.
  • Further detailed investigation of the structural design of the Power Channel is needed by the agency like the irrigation Design organisation, Roorkee. During this exercise the consultation should be done with the structural geologist of Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun.

Our prayers to the National Green Tribunal:

  1. Direct the Project Proponent to repair the power channel and plug all leakages, after conducting proper study of the power channel.
  2. Direct the Project Proponent to implement the recommendations of the Wadia Institute vide its report dated December 30, 2015. 
  3. Impose environmental compensation on the project proponent, i.e. the Respondent No 4, for the negligence in not taking proper measures to plug the leakage from the power channel and on the authorities for not complying with their statutory duties in ensuring the safety of the lives of the residents of Villages Mangsu, Surasu, Naur Thaapli in Tehri Garhwal district, Uttarakhand who have suffered due to the said leakage. 
We hope that soon the affected villages will be rid of the dangers of the power channel.

Comments

TRENDING

ISKCON UK 'clarifies' after virus infects devotees, 5 die due to big temple meet

By Rajiv Shah
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), United Kingdom (UK), has admitted that at least 21 of its devotees were infected because of the spread of the coronavirus amongst the UK devotee community following the March 12 funeral and March 15 memorial of the Bhaktivedanta Manor temple president, in which about 1,000 people participated. Regretting that five of the devotees have passed away, the top Hindu religious in Britain body does not deny more may have been infected.

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus scare ‘pushing’ people from Northeast India into more hardship

By Rishiraj Sinha, Biswanath Sinha*
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
***

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Gujarat construction workers walk home as Rs 2,900 crore welfare fund lies unused

By Our Representative
Situated behind the Gujarat University, some of the families of the migrant construction workers from Dahod and Panchmahals districts of Gujarat, and a few from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, who had stayed put in make-shift shanties in Ahmedabad’s sprawling GMDC Ground, have begun a long journey, by foot, back to their home villages in the eastern tribal belt of Gujarat.