The Hydro Projects worth 2500 MW across various states were accorded clearance by the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of Ministry of Environment & Forest (MoEF) on 5 February 2013. The projects include Tawang-II H.E. Project (800 MW) in Arunachal Pradesh, Teesta-IV H.E. Project (520 MW) in Sikkim to be executed by NHPC Limited and Luhri H.E. Project (775 MW) in Himachal Pradesh to be executed by Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) Limited. The National Board for Wild Life (NBWL) has accorded wild life clearance to Vishnugad Pipalkoti H.E. Project (444 MW) in Uttarakhand to be executed by THDC India Limited subject to clearance by the State Board of Wild Life.
The clearances were pending for a long time. The way is straight clear in tapping the hydro potential of the country to meet the country’s power needs. Separately, the MoEF has recently granted Stage-I forest clearance to eight transmission projects and Stage-II forest clearance to two transmission projects of the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd.
The MoEF, through an order exempted certain linear projects including transmission lines from the requirement of obtaining consent of the concerned Gram Sabha(s) unless recognised rights of Primitive Tribal Groups/Pre-Agricultural Communities are being affected. However, all other conditions as prescribed in the MoEF`s earlier order would apply. This would help transmission projects obtain clearances faster.