NTPC has filed a plea seeking continuation of work on its Lata Tapovan Hydro Power Project in Uttarakhand that was put on hold following the Supreme Court’s May 7 order. The apex court has issued notice to the government in this regard.
The court had ordered a halt to 24 projects that were proposed within 100 km of eco-sensitive zone from Gangotri. It had also directed the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and the Uttarakhand government not to grant any environmental or forest approvals for any hydroelectric project in the hill state.
The court had asked the MoEF to form an expert panel to carry out a detailed study whether hydroelectric power projects both existing and under construction have contributed to the environmental degradation in Uttarakhand, if so, to what extent. The expert committee was also directed to examine whether these projects had contributed to the natural disaster that had hit the state in June 2013.
As per the plea submitted by the NTPC, the expert panel constituted by the ministry deviates from the directions issued by the court, which had said it would have the representatives of the Uttarakhand government, Wildlife Institute of India, Central Electricity Authority, Central Water Commission and other expert bodies to undertake the detailed study as directed by it.
NTPC also said that due to delay it is losing time and the costs of the projects are also escalating.