Recong-Peo (Oct 2): A team from National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA), headed by JC Kala, today visited the site of 243-MW integrated Kashang Hydro Power Project coming up on Satluj river in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh to ascertain the adherence of environment norms by the company. The team also interacted with people at Lipa, Ashrang-tutuk and Rarang areas.
Kala, reportedly declared a state guest, arrived at Recong-Peo yesterday, accompanied by a single-member expert panel, and saw a power-point presentation about the project presented by Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited, a state PSU executing the project.
The team visited the three tributaries from where the water would be tunneled to one integrated power houses to spin four Pelton turbines of 243 MW capacity.
Two petitions from the district had filed separate petitions before NEAA in May 2010 after the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest granted EIA & EMP clearance (Environment Impact Assessment and Environment Management Plan) in April 16, 2010. Devi Gain Negi and Bhagat Singh Kinnori lodged their complaints before NEAA alleging that sections 14, 15, 16 and 17 of Environment Protection Act, 1986, have been violated by granting EIA& EMP clearances to HPPCL.
Counsel for petitioners in NEAA, Anand Sharma, who also accompanied the team today told HimVani that the functionaries of HPPCL and state government is liable to be penalized for one lakh rupees and imprisonment of five years as they are violating the above sections despite procuring first clearance.
He said that on the request of petitioners, the appellate authority visited the project site to ascertained adherence of environmental norms. He said that under this petition, HPPCL, Union Ministry of Environment and Forest and Himachal Pradesh Government have been made the party and their representatives were present on the site visit.
It is worth mentioned here that rare pine forests adjoining to this project produce economical important dry fruit known as ‘chilgoja’.
HPPCL bagged Kashang Hydro project financed by Asian Development Bank to entail investment of Rs 4,530 million as it has received loan amount of Rs 2,970 million for the first stage of 65 MW.