The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on 28 September 2015 sought response from the Union Government on a plea that challenged the construction of the 300 MW Lakhwar multi-purpose project being built by Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (UJVNL).
The bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar issued a notice to Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ministry of Water Resources and UJVNL. The notice was issued on a plea of members of the Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan.
The members of the petition namely Bhim Singh Rawat and Manoj Kumar Misra in their plea sought stay on construction of 204 meter high concrete dam with a 40 kilometer reservoir on river Yamuna near Lohari village in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand.
According to the plea, the Lakhwar project, which was part of the composite Lakhwar-Vyasi project, did not get any Environment Clearance (EC) from the Environment Appraisal Committee (EAC).
They further argued that there was no evaluation of the project in terms of its environmental costs and impacts, as required under the EIA Notification.
Lakhwar Hydro-Electricity Project (HEP) Issue
Lakhwar Project was initially developed as part of the composite project called Lakhwar-Vyasi project. The composite project got the administrative approval from MoEF in 1986.
Subsequently, the two projects were bifurcated and sought to be developed separately. As a result, the Vyasi HEP, a 2x60 MW run-of-the-river hydroelectric project downstream of Lakhwar HEP, was appraised in accordance with the EIA Notification and granted EC in 2007.
However, the Lakhwar Project was not given any EC by the EAC as it did not satisfied the EIA notification.
About Lakhwar project
The 300-MW Lakhwar project, a gravity dam located in the Upper Yamuna River Basin in Dehradun district received environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on 3 February 2014. It will produce 612.93 Million Units of electricity every year and will also provide water for other purposes like driniking, irrigation and industrial usage.
The states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, and Himachal Pradesh will benefit from the drinking water and water for irrigation produced by the project.
It received clearance for development in 1986 under the Uttar Pradesh’s Irrigation Department and was developed till 1992 and dropped due to financial crunch. Later, it was transferred to the UJVNL.
The cost of the Lakhwar project is almost 4000 crore rupees and its completion is expected by the year 2019.
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When: 28 September 2015