Prof. Ravi Chopra Expert panel to study the impact of Hydro-projects in Uttarakhand
A 17-member expert panel headed by Prof. Ravi Chopra has been constituted by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to investigate whether the environmental degradation caused by hydro-electric projects on Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers led to Uttarakhand floods.
Tasks before the Prof. Ravi Chopra Expert Committee:
- To examine the extent to which the projects were responsible for the Uttarakhand floods.
- To examine the impact of the proposed 24 hydropower projects on the biodiversity of the region and investigate the degradation caused by functioning as well as on-going hydro-projects.
- Recommend necessary environmental protective measures to extenuate the adverse environmental impacts in respect of ongoing projects for which environment elearance have been given including tourism projects and also opine necessary changes in project parameters.
- To draft a Himalayan Policy for Uttarakhand keeping in view the unique ecological, social and cultural characteristics of the state and suggest environment friendly development activities.
It can be recalled, the in June 2013 Uttrakhand was struck by flash floods and landslides. The natural calamity took the lives of thousands of people and rendered many other stranded. Rescue operations were carried out with the help of Indian Army, Paramilitary Forces and Indian Air Force. The worst hit region of Uttarakhand was Kedarnath, which is a famous Hindu shrine and attracts lakhs of tourists every year.