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A pause on hydropower

A recent report could check expansion of hydro projects in Himachal Pradesh

Manshi Asher
Down to Earth, Dec 15, 2010

The decision of the Union environment ministry to allow parts of the Ganga’s tributaries to flow freely in Uttarakhand, indicates there is finally some recognition of the environmental impacts of hydel projects, long hyped as clean energy producers.

Dams in Uttarakhand and the Northeast have been at the centre of controversy for some time. But till recently little attention was given to the country’s leading hydel producing state, Himachal Pradesh. A recent one-man committee report presented to the state’s high court offers some hope.

The report by Avay Shukla, Himachal’s additional secretary of forests, recognises the inadequacy of individual environmental impact assessment (EIA) reports for clearing a hydel project. [more]