The Supreme Court directed Uttarakhand’s Disaster Management Authority to submit a report within three months as to whether it had any disaster management plan is in place for the state and how effective that plan is for combating the present unprecedented tragedy. Photo: Mint (Mint)
The Supreme Court directed Uttarakhand’s Disaster Management Authority to submit a report within three months as to whether it had any disaster management plan is in place for the state and how effective that plan is for combating the present unprecedented tragedy. Photo: Mint
(Mint)

SC prohibits new hydroelectric power project in Uttarakhand

Court directs the Centre to constitute an expert body to study environmental degradation caused by such projects

New Delhi: Expressing concern over the recent tragedy in Uttarakhand, the Supreme Court on Tuesday prohibited setting up of any new hydroelectric power project in the state and directed the Centre to constitute an expert body to study environmental degradation caused by such projects.

The court directed the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) and the Uttarakhand government not to grant any further environmental or forest clearance for any hydroelectric power project until further orders.

“We are also deeply concerned with the recent tragedy, which has affected the Char Dham area of Uttarakhand leading to large scale calamity leading to loss of human lives and property," a bench headed by justice K.S. Radhakrishnan said while directing the Centre to find out whether the proposed 24 projects are causing adverse impact on the biodiversity of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi river basins.

“MoEF is directed to constitute an expert body consisting of representatives of the state government, WII (Wild Life Institute of India), Central Electricity Authority, Central Water Commission and other expert bodies to make a detailed study as to whether hydroelectric power projects existing and under construction have contributed to the environmental degradation, if so to what extent and also whether it has contributed to the present tragedy occurred at Uttarakhand in the month of June," it said.

The bench, also comprising justice Dipak Misra, directed Uttarakhand’s Disaster Management Authority to submit a report within three months as to whether it had any disaster management plan is in place for the state and how effective that plan is for combating the present unprecedented tragedy.

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