Shimla: Overriding the opposition of green activists, the ministry of forest and environment, Monday gave its nod for forest clearance to 775 MW Luhri projects that is to be set up as a cascading hydro electric project on Satluj River.
Nand Lal Sharma, director personnel SJVN – the executing public sector company of the project said, “the Luhri project has already been accorded environment clearance and today the ministry has given forest clearance for it. Now only the detailed project report needs to be approved before we begin executing the large project on Satluj basin.”
Union ministry of power in a separate statement stated, “the clearance was pending for a long time. The way has been cleared for tapping the hydro potential of the country to meet its power needs.”
The Luhri project is located downstream of 442 MW Rampur project and upstream of 800 MW Kol Dam project on the Himalayan river.
Satluj Bachao Jan Sangharsh Samiti (SBJSS), an organization of Luhri project affected villages and Himdara, an NGO have been opposing the project for environment reasons and had written to MoEF against setting up of another project on Satluj River.
Designed as a run of the river project, Satluj River is to be diverted through 38 Kms long twin tunnels by building a small dam at Nirath. The project with and estimated cost of Rs 6080 Cr is being backed by World Bank.
Besides the Luhri project in Himachal Pradesh, other projects cleared by MoEF today included 800 MW Tawang II project in Arunachal Pradesh, and 520 MW Teesta IV project in Sikkim. All these projects stand cleared by the forest advisory committee of MoEF.