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  AHPCL Srinagar hydel project hits road block
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
The Uttarakhand High Court directed Alaknanda Hydro Power Company (AHPCL), a GVK group company, to seek fresh environmental clearance for its 330 mw Srinagar hydel project from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). However, the court refused to stop the construction work.
A division bench of the High Court comprising Justice P C Pant and Justice B K Bist also directed the MoEF to decide the matter in three months, said the counsel of the petitioner, Ram Lal. Lal had petitioned before the High Court that AHPCL did not seek necessary environmental clearance from MoEF for enhancing the capacity of the project from 200 mw to 330 mw. However, the court rejected the petitioner's plea to stop the construction work of the dam, saying the project could not be completed soon.
The project, which is scheduled to be commissioned in December this year, had hit a roadblock during the past two years over the issue of submergence of Dhari Devi temple.
The government had stopped the construction work of the project around the temple last year after a prolonged agitation by a section of the Sangh Parivar, including former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharati, that is opposed to the shifting of the temple, which will get submerged in the dam's reservoir to be built on the Alaknanda river.
Since Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank intends to contest the Assembly election from the Srinagar constituency, the issue had taken political dimensions with the state government setting up inquiry committees to deal with it.
GVK was given the task of completion of the Srinagar hydel project by the previous Congress government in 2006 after the project remained suspended for nearly 20 years.
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