Ministry of Environment and Forests has refused approval for Rupsiabagar-Khasiyabara Hydro-electric Project in district of Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand. Forest Advisory Committee has refused it for the second time after a request from National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).
As per FAC, the project area is highly sensitive to erosion and construction of roads for the project will escalate this problem. The wildlife management plan under the project was not adequate to ensure proper safety of major endangered species in the area. The impact of the project on endangered species needs an in depth analysis. The project is located in the mid stretch of the river and it is one of the seven projects located along the river.
As for the hydro electric projects proposed on the rivers Bhagirathi and Alaknanda, the Ministry of Environment and Forests has decided to get studies conducted by IIT Roorkee and WII, Dehradun. The environmental assessments for the two projects have been done on a stand alone basis. Hence the ministry wants a holistic review. The study will determine the requirement of minimum flow from the proposed and already commissioned hydro electric projects on these rivers in their entire stretch.
The Forest Conservation Division in the the Ministry would itself commission the study involving the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun and other appropriate institutions having special knowledge and practical experience in the field of terrestrial, aquatic flora & fauna and biodiversity.