SC committee stops work on Himachal dam

the Supreme Court's Central Empowered Committee has ordered the Himachal Pradesh government to stop work on the Kol hydroelectric project in view of the controversies surrounding the diversion of the Majathal Wildlife Sanctuary for the dam. The order came in response to a public interest petition on the issue of miscalculation of diversion of forestland for the project.

The forest department failed to include some thickly wooded forest areas with 44,000 standing trees worth more than Rs 2 crore from the diversion map while seeking the mandatory forest clearance from the U nion ministry of environment and forests. The cec, which advices the Supreme Court on forestry cases, has asked Himachal's chief secretary and principal secretary, forests to reply within two weeks. The forest department has also been asked for accurate information about the plan.

Majathal is already embroiled in controversies. The forest department hid the fact that a portion of the sanctuary (habitat for the cheer pheasant) would be submerged under the dam (

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