‘Environment ignored in Kishanganga execution’
House Panel Warns Of Ecological Disaster
Srinagar, Aug 11: An official committee on environment has found “severe lapses” in conservation of environment in the execution of 330-MW Kishanganga power project in north Kashmir’s Gurez area. The committee warned that ignoring the issue could lead to an “ecological disaster”.
A 3-member Legislative Committee on Environment headed by its chairman M Y Targami recently visited Gurez to assess the impact of the project on the environment.
In its observations, the committee found the constitution of the Conservation and Management Cell (CMC) under Environment Management Plan (EMP) for protection of the fragile environment of Gurez was shelved by the state government. The CMC was to focus on protection and conservation of wildlife, flora and fauna to be affected by setting up of the dam.
In 2000, the state government handed over the Kishanganga project to National Hydroelectric Power Corporation for construction which in turn awarded it to Hindustan Construction Company for execution. “The authorities were not complying with the environmental protection laws underlined in the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR),” the committee has observed.
The EIAR and EMP reports prepared for the project have already warned about dangers to the Gurez environs due to the project.
As per these reports the Rs 3642.04-crore power project would displace 362 families and consume a total of 4280 kanals (535 acres) of land.
“Threats of loss and disappearance of various species of flora may arise from inundation, habitat destruction and fragmentation apart from a severe impact on fauna,” the committee said.
Presently, the construction of 24-km long tunnel from Dawar in Gurez to Kralpora in Bandipora is going on the project. Water from Kishanganga would be stored at Gurez and diverted to the Bandipora power station which would then go into the Bonar Madhumati Nallah and eventually flow into the Wullar Lake after its exploitation for power generation.
The committee has stressed that the tunnel needs to be scientifically studied and ecological measures need to be adopted so that the sediments would not flow directly into the Wullar lake which was already facing a threat to its existence due to growing pollution.
In view of the seriousness of the matter, the Committee has decided to again visit the project site for detailed assessment.
It would set up a panel of experts from Kashmir University to suggest a detailed report for protection of environment.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 11 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 11 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 12 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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