NGT stays tree felling for Yettinahole project

 

MANGALURU: THE New-Delhi based Principal Bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) has stayed the felling of trees at Yettinahole river diversion project site until further orders, on Monday.
The Tribunal, headed by chairperson Justice Swathantra Kumar, took serious note of reckless chopping of trees at the project area in Sakaleshpur taluk.


The complainant K N Somashekar had challenged the state and Centre’s order on granting clearance for felling trees to KNNL (Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Ltd) by filing an appeal before the NGT.


Somashekar, through his advocates Ritwick Dutta and Prince Isac, had argued that the grant of forest land to KNNL’s Yettinahole Project was illegal as it had violated many laws related to environment. 


The Bench finding prima facie merits in the arguments directed the advocate appearing on behalf of Karnataka to submit an undertaking that no trees will be felled from the project area by virtue of the forest clearance order. 


KNNL was also given time until Friday to file objections, if any.  The matter will be heard on November 11, Somashekar said. The ongoing legal campaign against Yettinahole received a boost with wellknown green advocate Ritwick Dutta teaming up with Somashekar to force the government to withdraw its project.“Ritwick Dutta, Prince Isac and me now are a team,” Somashekar said.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/2016/nov/10/ngt-stays-tree-felling-for-yettinahole-project-1536881.html

Ken-Betwa River linking project's forest clearance to be discussed on Wednesday

 

Jayashree Nandi| Nov 8, 2016, 03.37 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Ken-Betwa River linking project in Madhya Pradesh will be considered for forest clearance on Wednesday when the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) will meet. The FAC which will meet on November 9 and 10 will be considering the diversion of 7419 ha of forest totally as per their agenda released on November 5, 2016.


An analysis by the EIA Resource and Response Centre revealed 87% of the total proposed forest area to be considered for diversion are irrigation related—6486 ha, followed by mining which accounts for 800 ha. The Ken Betwa project alone would involve diversion of 6017 ha which includes a large part of protected tiger habitat of the Panna Tiger Reserve. About 52.66 ha in Andhra Pradesh will be considered for a wind power project.


"Quite for some time the agenda used to be announced around ten days before the meeting. Of late, the agenda is being provided only five to six days before the meeting only. This time it was shared just four days before the meeting, the ministry has also added large proposals to the agenda like an international standard zoo in Maharashtra," read the analysis by ERC.'


ERC also raised concerns about the Ken-Betwa project which is likely to submerge a very large biodiversity rich area, got consent of the standing committee of National Board of Wildlife. The phase I of the project aims at transferring "surplus waters" of the Ken river basin to Betwa basin. This is planned through construction of two structures: a 77 mt high Daudhan dam on the Ken River near Daudhan village in Panna and Chhatarpur districts of MP and 220.624 km long concrete link canal which will transfer water from the Daudhan reservoir to the existing Barwa Sagar reservoir, a tributary of Betwa River. Two power projects 60 MW and 18 MW are also proposed on the left bank of the proposed dam in the Chhatarpur district.

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Ken-Betwa-River-linking-projects-forest-clearance-to-be-discussed-on-Wednesday/articleshow/55310962.cms

Ministry Playing Cheap Tricks – Adding new projects to FAC agenda at the last minute for meeting on 9-10 November 2016

 

Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) meets every month. Quite for some time the agenda used to be announced around 10 days before the meeting. Of late, under the new dispensation in the ministry, the agenda is being provided 5-6 days before the meeting only. Cleverly, this time, FAC agenda has been issued on 5 November 2016 for meeting on 9-10 November 2016 just four days before the meeting and that too on weekend. We have shared the analysis that FAC is considering diversion of 7419 ha of forest area in the meeting.

It is sheer shocking, that in spite of the agenda of the meeting announced so late, the Ministry has quietly added additional large proposals to the agenda, for example,

Proposal for diversion of forest land for the purpose of development of proposed international standard zoo on land under possession of FDCM at Forewada project - Nagpur, Tal. Nagpur Distt. Nagpur, Maharashtra.

Proposal for seeking prior approval of the Central Government under section – 2(iii) of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for grant of petroleum mining lease (PML) over 540.0668 sq km (54006.68 ha.) of forest land in favour of Chief Engineer, Oil India Limited, Duliajan in Ningru Extension Block, Changlang district in the state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Ministry should rather larger participation of interested people to facilitate better appraisal for proposal rather than being non-transparent.

 

Pushp Jain & Terence Jorge

EIA Resource and Response Centre (ERC)

New Delhi - 110 048. India

Ph: 91-11-49537774, Web : ercindia.org;

Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Panna on the Chopping Block - FAC Considering Ken-Betwa on 9-10 November 2016  

 

 

Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) is considering diversion of 6017 ha of biodiversity rich and mostly ‘Protect Area’ forest for Ken-Betwa River Link proposal in its meeting on 9-10 November 2016. [1]

 

The Ken-Betwa River Link project has been a critical concern of environmentalists and wildlife conservationists for several years now. Time and again, MoEF&CC has been informed of the concerns. But the ministry seems bent upon pushing the project through. The Minister, Anil Dave, is reported to be keen on the proposal. He said, “We have enough amount of tigers compared to jungle available to us. Every animal has its own territory and more figures will be difficult to manage, accommodate all of them, otherwise they will fight. This Ken-Betwa river link we should do it and have an impact assessment after five years. If it is good, then great, if not they don't go for other linkages.”[2]

 

The project has received consent of Standing Committee of NBWL. Union minister Uma Bharti  said she is "excited" over the clearance, but is "keeping quiet" as Minister of State for Environment and Forest (independent charge) Anil Dave has asked her not to say anything in this regard till the minutes are "okayed"![3]

 

The phase I of the project aims at transferring so called surplus waters of the Ken river basin to the so called water deficit Betwa basin. This is planned through construction of two critical structures[4]:

 

  1. A 77 mt high Daudhan dam on the Ken river near Daudhan village in Panna and Chhatarpur districts of Madhya Pradesh.
  2. A 220.624 km long concrete link canal which will transfer water from the Daudhan reservoir to the existing Barwa Sagar reservoir (in Jhansi district of UP) on Barwa river, a tributary of Betwa river.

Two power projects 60 MW and 18 MW are also proposed on the left bank of the proposed dam in the Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh.

 

Beside host of social, economical and environmental implications, major concern is that most of the important structures in the project are proposed to be located within the Panna Tiger Reserve.  Due to its location in a Protected Area, an important tiger habitat, there would be several direct and associated impacts. Beside tiger several other Schedule I (WPA 1972) species would be impacted. Also, in addition to Panna, Ken Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary and unique Gangau Wetland too would be critically impacted.

 

 

Pushp Jain

EIA Resource and Response Centre (ERC)

New Delhi - 110 048. India

Ph: 91-11-49537774, Web : ercindia.org;

Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

[1] http://ercindia.org/index.php/latest-updates/upcoming-events

[2] http://www.dnaindia.com/india/interview-won-t-put-a-cap-on-new-dams-in-uttarakhand-river-linking-should-go-ahead-anil-dave-2251391

[3] http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/wildlife-clearance-for-ken-betwa-river-linking-project-to-be-116090601292_1.html

[4] NWDA, 2010; Detailed Project Report of Ken Betwa River Link Project: Sailent Features [Online] available at http://www.nwda.gov.in/writereaddata/linkimages/9788313467.PDF

 

FAC considering 7419 ha for diversion on 9-10 November 2016

 

Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) is considering diversion of 7419 ha of forest in its meeting on 9-10 November 2016 as per the agenda issued on 5 November 2016.

Irrigation sector takes largest area of 6486 i.e. 87 per cent of the total proposed followed by mining which accounts for about 800 ha i.e. 11 per cent of the proposed forest area.

Madhya Pradesh accounts for the largest area i.e. 6175 ha or 83 per cent of the total proposed diversion.

Of critical concern is consideration of diversion of 6017 ha of biodiversity rich and mostly ‘Protect Area’ forest for Ken-Betwa River Link proposal.

 

Sector-wise area proposed for diversion

No

Sector

Area

%Area

Proposals

%Proposals

1

IRRIGATION

6486

87.43

2

20.00

2

MINING

798.9

10.77

6

60.00

3

OTHERS

80.85

1.09

1

10.00

4

WIND POWER

52.66

0.71

1

10.00

-

Total

7419

100.00

10

100.00

 

State and Sector-wise area proposed for diversion

No

State

Sector

Area

% Area

Proposals

%Proposals

1

ANDHRA PRADESH

IRRIGATION

469.2

6.32

1

10.00

2

ANDHRA PRADESH

WIND POWER

52.66

0.71

1

10.00

3

JHARKHAND

MINING

0.47

0.01

1

10.00

4

MADHYA PRADESH

OTHERS

80.85

1.09

1

10.00

5

MADHYA PRADESH

IRRIGATION

6017

81.10

1

10.00

6

MADHYA PRADESH

MINING

76.84

1.04

1

10.00

7

ORISSA

MINING

274.4

3.70

3

30.00

8

TELANGANA

MINING

447.2

6.03

1

10.00

-

Total

-

7419

100

10

100

 

Agenda of the meeting is available at http://ercindia.org/index.php/latest-updates/upcoming-events.

Pushp Jain & Terence Jorge

EIA Resource and Response Centre (ERC)

New Delhi - 110 048. India

Ph: 91-11-49537774, Web : ercindia.org;

Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.