Green nod for hydropower project in Kinnaur

Shimla: Facing green concerns, the state was able to obtain environment clearances from ministry of environment and forest (MOEF) for executing 130 MW Kashang hydroelectric project that is to come up on Satluj basin in Kinnaur highlands.

Chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, who is recuperating from an illness at Delhi in a communiqué stated that MOEF had given clearance for the stage II & III of the Kashang project being executed by the HP Power Corp, a state enterprise.

Nod has also been obtained for diversion of 17.6857 hectares of forest land for construction of the project, he said.

The project when planned consisted of four stages that had a combined generation potential of 243 MW but work on stage I having a potential of 65 MW is already underway.

With three stages having obtained the green nod, the total investment involved for tapping the 195 MW is estimated at about Rs 1400 crores.

Stage IV of the project that has an potential of 48 MW is more or less an independent scheme that still has to get mandatory clearances.

While commissioning of Stage I of the project is scheduled for January 2013, the projects second and third stage are expected to come on stream by March 2015, a government spokesman said.

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  1. Himachal hydel projects pose threat to Himalayan glaciers

    Hydropower projects in Himachal Pradesh can accelerate melting of glaciers in the Himalayan region, a study by the South Asia Network on Dams Rivers and People (SANDARP) has warned.

    The field level study carried out by the environmental group on the four major Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded projects in the state show that activities for construction of the dams such as blasting and drilling could enhance the pace at which the glaciers are melting.

    The four projects – 195Mw Integrated Kashang Stage I, II and III, 402 Mw Shongton Karccham in Kinnaur, 111 Mw Sawara- Kuddu in Shimla and 100 Mw Sainj in Kulu – apart from being located in ecologically fragile areas, fall in seismic zone and are also being built on the catchments of glacial rivers. Some of them are so close to the glaciers that they are likely to accelerate its melting, the study notes.

    The ADB is promoting these projects under the ‘Himachal Clean Energy Development Programme,’ which, according to SANDARP, is an irony as all the tall claims made by the ADB regarding the safeguards adhered to by the project developers do not exist in reality.

    ” It is surprising that the ADB’s environmental safeguard policies failed to identify the cumulative impacts of the project- related activities such as dams, blasting, mining, tunneling, road construction, dumping of muck and other related construction activities,” SANDARP convenor Himanshu Thakkar said.

    For instance, the environmental impact assessment report of Kashang project fails to mention that two more tunnels are planned on the same mountain side.

    In total there would be three tunnels in a single mountain, which is under the threat of sliding down, Thakkar said.

    All the four projects will involve diversion of 221.54 hectares of forest land.

    The report is critical of the Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited, the executing agency for the projects.

    Another one:

  2. says: elise

    Great point Mr. Katoch. Here in Kangra district, our new hydro electric project has devastated 29 farming families by ironically restricting access to water. In Chamba, 2,500 farming families have been devastated.

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