Environ clearance


In order to expeditiously grant environment clearance and pave the way for start of work, a committee of experts constituted by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) is shortly going to inspect the site of 800 Mega Watts Bursar Hydro-Electric Project to be constructed on Marusudar River, a tributary of River Chenab in Kishtwar district. This project would go a long way in making use of untapped water potential for the benefit of Jammu and Kashmir that too within the parameters of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) signed between India and Pakistan. The Bursar project will also allow the regulation of the flow of water in River Chenab and thus benefit itself as well as all other downstream projects by enhancing their potential. An Expert Appraisal Committee of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests in its recent meeting held detailed deliberations on the final Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environment Management Plan (EMP) submitted by the project proponent and finally decided to get the site of the project inspected through its sub-committee comprising of experts of different fields. The EAC has expressed satisfaction over the final EIA/EMP submitted by the project proponent by incorporating the issues raised during the public hearings held near village Tiller in Marwah tehsil on September 21, 2017 and near village Lopara in Dachhan tehsil of Kishtwar on September 23, 2017. Various environmental aspects covering catchment area, submergence area and project influence area have been considered by the project proponent and the baseline data has been collected covering physico-chemical aspects, biological aspects and so-economic aspects.
Contrary to the hue and cry being raised by certain politicians on unfounded ground, the EAC has observed that only seven villages with 18 hamlets consisting of 1052 families are likely to be affected due to this project. Of these 1052 families, 336 would get affected fully and 716 partially and a provision of Rs 211 crore has been earmarked for Relief and Rehabilitation (R&R) and Local Area Development, which would be more than sufficient. The Relief and Rehabilitation Plan for the project affected families will be followed as per the Kishanganga Hydroelectric Project R&R Plan and will be implemented accordingly. It is pertinent to mention here that the total estimated cost of project is about Rs 24,589 crore as per the price level of October 2016 and the project will be completed in 163 months, which includes pre-construction period of 36 months for infrastructural works. One dam-toe power house will be at village Pakal with 120 Mega Watt capacity to maintain environmental flow and another surface power house will come up at village Lopara with 4 units of 170 Mega Watts installed capacity each. There was no focus on this project for many years despite its immense importance but the present Government at Centre following Uri attack started paying required attention so that available water potential is tapped that too within the parameters of Indus Water Treaty.

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