Post disaster of Uttrakhand, which killed thousands of people, the Union of Ministry of Environment and Forests is cautiously approaching in according forest clearance to mega hydro power projects in Northeast India. The ministry has denied forest clearance to the 1,500 mw Tipaimukh hydel project in Manipur and the 3,000 mw Dibang multipurpose project in Arunachal Pradesh. NHPC is the implementing agency for 3000 MW Dibang Multipurpose Project. For Tipaimukh hydel project the joint venture implementing agency include NHPC and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd (SJVN) and Manipur government.
Both these projects are facing stiff opposition from the NGOs and environmental groups. The forest advisory committee (FAC) which held meeting on July 11 and 12 found that in both projects, the requirement of forest land is large and will have an adverse impact on the general ecosystem of the area. As per FAC, Tipaimukh project involved diversion of very large area of forest land and feeling of more than 78 lakh trees in Manipur alone.
The committee observed that the Tipaimukh dam required 24,329 hectares of forestland - more than one-fifth of the total 1, 18,184 hectares of forest land diverted for execution of 497 hydel projects in the entire country after the Forest Conservation Act came into force. The FAC added the forestland requirement against every mega watt of proposed electricity generation - 16 hectares per megawatt - was much higher than the national average.
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