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Short Review of the Report submitted by NGT Constituted Committee on Kanhar Dam


committee ngt kanhar

Following are comments on the Report submitted by the High Level Committee  constituted by the National Green Tribunal, Principal Bench New Delhi in compliance with the

judgment dated 7th May, 2015

S.No.Committee ObservationsPg. No.Our Comments
1

Socio economic profile of adivasis population was carried out at the time of preparation of project report. However socio economic profile is further needed for the assessment and implementation of R & R package. Preparation of recent state of socio-economic profile of the affected Adivasi population will be done by engaging an institute of repute. Socio-economic profile will also pay adequate attention to number of Mahuwa trees and their role in local economy.

…….In the state of Chhattisgarh, socio economic profiling is in progress. Government sponsored. Government sponsored development schemes with specific reference adivasis are already being implemented. Project specific socio-economic inputs will be provided.

….In the state of Jharkhand, socio-economic profiling is to commence. Government sponsored development schemes with specific reference to adivasis are already being implemented. Project specific socio-economic inputs will be provided.

16-17 and 26

The R & R policy is yet to be decided in the State of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. There is no socio-economic analysis as of yet in both the states.

The R & R package in U.P. is being distributed based on the initial survey done in 1979 only. The Committee also showed the requirement of a fresh assessment of recent state of socio economic profile of the Tribal population for R & R package. Hence, there is a need to do a fresh R&R under Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 as the Gram Samaj land was not acquired till the year 2014. There is no clarification under which guidelines government of U.P. has decided the R & R package.

The committee has made this entire report based on its visit on 13th October, 2014. The review of R & R is done based on its visit to only 1 village-Bhisur and the R&R colony in Amwar.

2

UTTAR PRADESH

11 villages in U.P. to be affected. In 1979 there was no rehabilitation and resettlement policy at government level.

Government of U.P. made another rehabilitation and resettlement package for the Kanhar irrigation project on 30th October, 2014.

CHHATTISGARH

Survey work is completed. 6 village identified.

The R & R policy is yet to be decided as per accord between U.P. and Chhattisgarh.

JHARKHAND

Survey work started. R & R yet to be decided.

21
3Pending finalization of the report and decision of the Government, MoEF, has been prescribing 30% of the flows during monsoon period, 25% during non-monsoon ad non-lean periods and 20% during lean period towards environmental flows while granting environmental clearances. The same may be adopted by Kanhar Irrigation Project, Uttar Pradesh.23, 32

“Environmental Flows” are the regime of flows required to maintain the ecological integrity of a river and the goods and services provided by it, computed by Building Block Method (or other standard holistic methods). (as per IIT Consortium Report on Ganga River Basin)

The Committee did not carry out any scientific assessment for the environmental flow required by the river Kanhar. Even, the required depth for the correspondent e-flows is not mentioned in the report.

As Kanhar River basin lies in Ganga River Basin, the recommendations of IIT Consortium report must have been considered. The IIT consortium report on Ganga River Basin suggests maximum e-flows of 53.09% during dry season and 32.29% during wet season. In lack of any scientific assessment, this percentage must be adopted.

It is also submitted that the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court in its Decision dated 12.01.2011 in PIL no 4003 of 2006 suggested a minimum e-flow of 50% for River Ganga.

Therefore, we suggest e-flow in the river Kanhar of atleast 50% with seasonal variation not less than 30% of pristine flow.

4

The habitat represented in the project area is similar to the habitat in the adjoining forest area. Thus, if there is any loss of habitat due to construction of reservoir, this will not unduly affect the animals residing in the project area. These animals can find alternate home in the vicinity of the project area itself without having to migrate to far off distance.

The area of project is neither harbouring any elephant nor is the migratory corridor for the elephants

30

The observation is made by Chief Conservator of Forest West Zone, Kanpur. The observation is vague and does not provide any scientific basis. Also, the observation is in contradiction to the observation made by another member in his report. As discussed in next row.

The affected area also comprises regions of Chhattisgarh, which is an elephant corridor. The statement may be true for the areas falling in U.P.

There should have been a proper and detailed wildlife impact assessment by institutes like WWF or WII.

5The submergence site is home for number of plant and animal species. As a result of submergence, all terrestrial organisms will get severely affected. The animals shall be forced to migrate and the migration may pose threats including predation ad territorial confrontation. Hence the fauna and flora of the submergence area require special attention.51The observation is very critical and also substantiates the need for special wildlife impact study by reputed institutes like WII, WWF etc.
6Chief Engineer, Irrigation Department, Uttar Pradesh has assured on behalf of project proponent that PP will complete the construction activity that is underway and will not commence any new activity or construction without specific recommendation of the committee in that behalf.34The Committee members even after visiting the site did not point out the construction of spillway which was going on full fledge. The spillway construction is a new construction. Instead of listing out the old and new activities, the committee made its observation completely based on the assurance given by Project proponent.
7Additional Conditions prescribed 35Highly inadequate and does not include crucial aspects discussed in its own observations. A detailed critique of the conditions suggested by the committee is presented after this table.
8In view of this Hon’ble National Green Tribunal may kindly grant permission for the proposal for forest land diversion of three states may be allowed to be dealt separately by the forests clearance according authority. It further prayed that taking of the new activity on additional forest area may be permitted accordingly. 28No forests clearance has been obtained under the Forests (Conservation) Act 1980. The FC has not been sought for diversion of 980.40 hectare nor for the additional forest land of 441.07 hectare. As per para 4.4 of the guidelines of the Forests (Conservation) Act, 1980 and para 8 (v) of the EIA Notification, 2006 no construction on forest and non forest areas can take place.

 

Observations which were not included in the final conditions proposed by the Committee:

  1. Installation of discharge measurement devices at key locations in canal system and evolution of a rotational irrigation system to achieve the same. (Pg 23)
  2. Promote cropping pattern compatible with the soil health and efficient irrigation systems, such as micro-irrigation and system of Rice Intensification, in the command area. (Pg 23) The issues related to management of the proposed command area for control of salinity & existing and proposed cropping pattern due to submergence ad canal systems need to be looked by the proponent. (Pg 51)
  3. A fish hatchery with sufficient infrastructure to be established near the reservoir area for livelihood support of affected fishermen in the catchments. (Pg 25)A fish hatchery with sufficient infrastructure for nursery and brooders rearing must be established near the reservoir area for breeding, nursery rearing and stocking of Indian major carps seed in the reservoir for development of reservoir fisheries, which is required for livelihood support of the affected fishermen in the catchments. Required funds for this activity should be arranged by the proponent and state fisheries department Sonbhadra should be involved for development of hatchery complex and seed production. (Pg 49)
  4. During construction phase adequate efforts must be taken by the project proponent to protect the fish communities from killing by destructive methods like poisoning and use of dynamite in the diverted river channel and pool regions and also to take necessary measures for protection of habitats. (Pg 25) Awareness camps should be organized along the river banks and barrage site to educate the working labour, other staff members of the construction activities and the people residing in the area.
  5. A well designed Catchment-Area-Treatment (CAT) Plan is essential to ameliorate the adverse effects of soil erosion. (Pg 25)Under this programme activities like afforestation, pasture development and social forestry need to be undertaken at selected suitable sites. (Pg 50)
  6. The muck management must be undertaken by the proponent to protect the land, river, terrestrial and aquatic environment and biota. (Pg 25)
  7. To fully compensate 980.40 ha of forest land, on an area of 1,295 ha degraded forest land a “Vindhyan Biodiversity Park” may be created on the basis of eco restoration model and eco-restoration may be taken up in consultation with the forest department. (Pg 25)
  8. Geographical Information System (GIS) based study be carried out to study changes in ecological parameters. (Pg 25)
  9. Geographical Information System (GIS) based study is essential to understand the changes in the land use, vegetation cover, vegetation type and other ecological parameters of the project an surrounding area. The change analysis will further focus on understanding the impact of project on ecology of the area in a comprehensive and holistic manner. This short of analysis has future scope in understanding causative factors and ameliorative measures. (Pg. 62)
  10.  Endemic plants having medicinal values may be surveyed, listed, conserved and their ethno-botanical importance studied. (Pg 26)
  11.  Though the socio-economic profile of the affected adivasis population was carried out at the time of preparation of project report, however socio-economic profile is further needed for the assessment and implementation of R & R package. Socio-economic will be done by an institute of repute and will also pay adequate attention to number of Mahuwa trees and their role in local economy. (Pg 26)
  12. The Project Authority should re-workout reservoir operation and to continuously operates under sluice(s) to ensure release of environmental flow as per norm. (Pg. 32)
  13. The flow released to downstream must mimic the natural flow pattern of the pristine river. (Pg. 49)
  14. In order to assess availability of migratory Mahseer (Tor tor) and other important fish species in the river Kanhar a specific survey need to be carried out at the cost of user agency. (Pg 49)
  15. If availability of Mahseer is confirmed, another Mahseer hatcher y (flow-through) with required infrastructure should also be constructed at upstream of the reservoir exclusively for mahseer at the cost of user agency, besides the carp hatchery mentioned in abovepoint. (Pg 50)
  16. Eco-tourism is a sustainable model of resource use, which contributes to environmental conservation, while providing accrued socio-economic benefits to the people through the non-consumptive users and indirect values of the natural biological resources. Angling, or recreational fishing is one of the most popular outdoor activities throughout the world. Besides providing good sport, angling is an excellent measure for conservation. The project area and the reservoir under formation can be developed as an excellent tourist site for promotion of fishery based eco-tourism. Apart from existing carnivorous fishes, the renowned sport fish, Tor tor can be stocked in the reservoir for promoting of angling activities. (Pg 50)

Apart from the same, it is pertinent to point out that the Member representing IIT Kanpur had inspected the site independently on 19.10.2015 to 20.10.2015.(Page 11) However, there are no comments/observations made by the IIT expert which are presented with the report while the independent observations made by all the representative from EAC-River Valley (MOEFCC), CPCB, MOEFCC and CWC is attached with the report.

Tags: Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Kanhar, Reviews & Critiques, Litigation, National Green Tribunal, Dams & Barrages, Uttar Pradesh, Reports

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