Recent tremors raise concerns on feasibility of 6 hydropower projects in Uttarakhand

Hours after the fresh high-intensity earthquake in Nepal, its tremors were felt in the Uttarakhand hydropower projects case being heard by the Supreme Court.

Concerns about safety and enhanced possibility of seismic activity in the region were raised by activists as the government sought six months’ time to allow an experts committee to undertake a comprehensive assessment of hydropower projects, including the six being considered by the court. The Uttarakhand government, which has been demanding that the projects be given the goahead, demanded the state be part of the expert committee. 

Sanjay Parikh, who was representing the people of the Kedarnath Valley, stressed on the need to treat the recurring high-intensity earthquakes in Nepal seriously.

Highlighting that the hydropower projects were being planned in a fragile zone, Parikh urged it was the responsibility of all concerned to consider the threat posed by ramping up the number of hydropower projects in the region in light of the recent earthquakes in Nepal.

“Each of us should be concerned with the Himalayan ecology. Today also there was an earthquake,” he said. Parikh has questioned the efficacy of a fresh review, especially as the environment ministry’s four-member committee headed by Vinod Tare of IIT Kanpur had recommended against allowing the six projects. The Uttarakhand government through senior advocate Amarendra Sharan, demanded that it be made part of new committee. 

Read more here.

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