Uttarakhand News

Uttarakhand High Court stays construction of Hydro Power projects

In a landmark judgment, Uttarakhand high court on Monday has put a stop to the ongoing constructions of hydro power projects in the state and asked respective district magistrates to find a suitable sites for the disposal of muck and debris. District Magistrates are also directed to ensure that no debris or excavated material is directly dumped into the river by any hydro project developers or the road construction authorities.

The verdict came after an petitioner NGO – Himadri Jan Kalyan Sansthan – has made the case that the state has “failed to take measures to check the haphazard muck/excavated material disposal in the river Mandakini and Alaknanda thereby changing the natural course of the river and causing unnatural rise in the riverbed.”

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt. of India, Uttarakhand Environment Protection & Pollution Control Board and Revenue Agencies, are directed to identify suitable muck disposal sites 500 meters away from the river banks for disposal of muck and excavated material within three weeks from today on utmost urgent basis. The muck shall be deposited/stacked only on the identified muck sites by putting up sign boards. Till the disposal sites are identified and become operational, till then, all construction activities/widening of roads on the river banks in the state shall remain stayed,”

– Uttarakhand High Court verdict

In addition to that, the court also ordered the government to ensure that in the environmental clearance including forest clearance, there is a provision for providing muck disposal sites in all existing and new projects coming up on the river banks.

Inputs from News 18