New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal on Monday issued notices to the ministries of water resources and environment as well as the Uttarakhand government, seeking their replies within two weeks in a case related to the construction of the 300 megawatt (MW) Lakhwar hydroelectric project on the Yamuna in without any environment clearance or environmental impact study.
The Lakhwar project, which requires the diversion of around 1,200 hectares of land, involves the construction of a 204-metre-high dam and a 40-km-long reservoir near Lohari village in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand.
The project is nearly 30 years old and got administrative clearance from the environment ministry in 1987, but construction stopped in 1992. However, work on part of the project restarted in 2014.
The notices were issued on a petition filed by environmentalist Manoj Misra who said in his petition that construction of the project is based on administrative clearance and lacks the essential and statutory requirements of environment impact assessment, cumulative impact assessment, biodiversity impact assessment and disaster risk management.
The petition also alleges that the project had been cleared without any public hearings, public consultations and expert appraisal, which is against the letter and spirit of the environmental laws of India and the principle of sustainable development.
“Let the replies be filed within two weeks from today," ruled the tribunal headed by justice Swatanter Kumar on Monday.
In response to another petition, the tribunal sought a response from the government on the issue of consumption of tobacco in public places.
The direction came on a plea highlighting the health problems and environmental damage caused by consumption of tobacco in public spaces.
The plea was submitted by Doctors For You, a registered charitable society working to help cancer patients. It sought a ban on the consumption of tobacco in any form in public places and on the use of plastic as packaging material for tobacco products.
Priyanka Mittal contributed to this story