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MoEF to appraise forest clearance for Uttarakhand’s Devsari HEP

Last year, the FAC set a few conditions for granting clearance to the project. Among them, it included a condition to submit a valid relief and rehabilitation plan for those displaced and the issue of submergence of the Debal Small Project.

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MoEF to appraise forest clearance for Uttarakhand’s Devsari HEP
Alakananda river
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Environment ministry’s forest advisory committee (FAC) on forests is set to appraise the 252 MW Devsari hydroelectric project (HEP) in Chamoli district, Uttarakhand, for diversion of 196 hectares of forests. The Devsari HEP is a storage dam project planned on Pindar River, which is part of the Alaknanda river basin. It is one of the over 70 projects proposed in the river basin, and will require felling of 7,434 trees in the Himalayan Pine forests where snow leopards and Himalayan tahr are found.

Last year, the FAC set a few conditions for granting clearance to the project. Among them, it included a condition to submit a valid relief and rehabilitation plan for those displaced and the issue of submergence of the Debal Small Project.

During appraisal, the FAC will now also look at the issues of environmental flow as was recommended by the Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) under the former UPA government. The IMG had said that projects that have obtained environmental and forest clearance should be redesigned to optimise energy generation, especially during high discharge season and take into account the ecological flow regime that will be in force in the river.

While 24 HEP projects in the upper reaches of Ganga, in the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda river, have ground to a halt due to an on-going case in the Supreme Court, Devsari HEP project was exempted after project proponent Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam got the stay lifted.

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